Coming from director Tony Scott whose work amazed us in ‘Top Gun’, ‘Unstoppable’ marks his second film following ‘Taking of Pelham 123’ to feature trains that also starred Denzel Washington. While
got busy battling a devious market manipulator played by John Travolta in the earlier flick shot on Washington metro, Unstoppable pits him against 777, an unmanned runaway train in New York . Pennsylvania
Frank Barnes (Washington) is an old railway engineer on his way out on compulsory retirement is paired up with a newbie conductor Will Colson played by Chris Pine, last seen in the latest Star Trek rehash of 2009. Despite getting off a rough start, the duo has to put aside their differences to stop a speeding train laden with hazardous cargo.
The flick is loosely based on a real life incident in Ohio in 2001 where a 47-car CSX train left the yard unmanned and could only be stopped after it clocked 66 miles.
For the film, CSX becomes the fictional Allegheny West Virginia Railroad, top speeds cross 70mph as against 47 managed by CSX. While none were injured in the real incident, the film had to have its actors bloodstained! The dangerous elevated curve wasn’t there and the filming location doesn’t really have precariously placed oil tanks! Obviously, lots of stuff gets thrown in to make it a fast paced action thriller.
The story did have a lot of real stuff, like the driver stepping out to adjust a switch, train cars with molten phenol, the portable derailer failing, cops nearly hitting the fuel cap, another train with a veteran and a newbie latching on to slow the train and finally having a staffer to jump on the slower train to take control.
While Denzel Washington delivers usual stuff expected of a veteran that he is, Chris Pine takes the cake for having performed all his stunts on his own, a commendable feat. Camera work is well done and when put together by some neat editing the million tons of steel on the run gives the adrenalin rush. Forget the technical mumbo jumbo though on dynamic brakes or reversing traction; it’s a plain no-brainer action flick.
Although there isn’t much that you would expect for a story or a diabolical villain that gets beaten in the end, ‘Unstoppable’ gives you just as much entertainment as a ride in an amusement park. Though not giving you something for you ponder over for days, it does make a fine entertainer, never mind the many plot holes. If you are looking for a couple of hours of pastime worth your money, be sure to give this a try!
Rating 6/10: The typical
Hollywood action staple!