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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Better of the Scott/Washington Locomotive Saga
on July 12, 2012
Unstoppable has a few great things going for it. First of all, the cast is great. Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson and Kevin Dunn turn in good performances all around. The tension is on point for pretty much the entire time. I saw many people in the audience on the edges of their seats. Literally. I'm not just saying that because it's the cliche thing to say about a suspenseful movie. I heard plenty of gasps and 'oh no's' throughout the film, so it accomplished it's goal to exhilarate. Problem is, it fails to rise above what you see in the trailers. Big freight train carrying toxic chemicals is on the run, unmanned, and two unlikely partners have to save the day. Sorry for the cliche, but this movie is just the same old s**t on a different day (but with convincing characters). The main problem is just as I stated above. This movie is nothing more than what you see in the trailers. So if you liked what you saw, this is right for you. If it looked lame from the get-go, then guess what? ... Exactly. That said, I was actually one who thought to myself, "what the hell are Tony Scott and Denzel Washington making another train movie for if the last one (Pelham 123 remake) wasn't well received?" They have teamed up to make some pretty good movies in the past, or at least decent ones to other people that I loved (Man on Fire, Deja Vu, Crimson Tide).
This movie falls closer along the lines of another Taking of Pelham 123, but much more exhillerating. That could be a good or bad thing, depending on your point of view. I've come not to expect much from Tony Scott, and that usually works for me. If you take him at face value, you may enjoy most of his lesser appreciated movies more than you expect to. Another huge issue I had were the quick cuts, and the unsteady camera. How old are the gliding camera shots that pan across actors' faces when they're talking? I'm fairly tired of it, personally, but I can accept it when it shows a cinematographer's intent on doing something to aid the suspencs. And after the third camera shot from the tracks, beneath the train as it passes over, I got a little aggrivated. These old, and often annoying methods can work, and not irritate people like me if only the director and director of photography would learn the concept of moderation. Once, or even twice is fine, but beyond that is just overkill. These methods do work at getting some people in the audience's heart rates slightly elevated, but overall, they often end up coming off as cheap gimmicks when overdone. Now don't get me wrong. I recommend this movie, but barely.