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Hang on for the ride of your life as Oscar® Winner Denzel Washington and Chris Pine (Star Trek) team up for the year’s most electrifying action-thriller. A runaway train, transporting deadly, toxic chemicals, is barreling down on Scranton, Pennsylvania, and only two men can stop it: a veteran engineer (Washington) and a young conductor (Pine). Thousands of lives hang in the balance as these ordinary heroes attempt to chase down one million tons of hurtling steel and prevent an epic disaster. Helmed by visionary director Tony Scott (Man on Fire), this story inspired by true events delivers excitement and suspense that are — unstoppable!
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We have a runaway train that is described as "a missile the size of the Chrysler Building" that is carrying tons of toxic chemicals that would prove catastrophic if the train goes over a curve adjacent to a bridge at too high of a speed, and it must be stopped. After a front-end intercept by a pair of locomotives leaves a veteran engineer dead, and a de-railing device proves to be a miserable failure, it is up to two men, a rookie and an experienced professional, to bring this speeding metal giant to a halt. After much of a struggle, the pair finally succeed in their mission, and the monstrous train is brought to its knees.
In a general sense, despite what some critics might like to say to bash the "predictability" and "unoriginality" of the plot and outcome of this movie, I think that anyone who likes dramatic adventure films can really enjoy it for what it is. I definitely give it a solid recommendation for action/adventure movie lovers to add it to their collection.
Of course, Denzel Washington is just fine as the Old Vet who has 30 days to go before he goes on forced retirement with half the expected pension. Chris Pine, whom I do not know, handles well what is required of the rookie working with Washington. Assorted other players are quite competent in support. A simple story, many times filmed. Runaway train with a lethal cargo. Washington and Pine, on another train, are the last resort if a violent explosion of a highly combustible cargo in a populated area, is to be avoided. With the exception of some minor personal problems each faces, the plot and the Director have chosen to go straight down the line with nothing going on but the runaway train, the train on which Washington and Pine are, and the axis including local and higher administrative decision-makers. For very good reasons, since The Great Train Robbery, railroads have been the setting for many fine and not-at-all fine films; there is that notion of speed, isolation from the surrounding countryside, and being in a world of its own, that puts us in the mood for romance, adventure and thrills. While the first is absent here (save for off-the-train brief shots ) the other two are present in spades.
A good picture for the family, there are only one or two mild expletives which might disturb even the most fastidious parents, I can recommend this to any potential viewer regardless of what their favorite genre is.