Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123

The Tony Scott remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 (1974) begs the question; Should Hollywood do remakes? I say YES! How else would I have ever got to see this gritty New York tale?

Pellam 123 got run over like a freight train by bigger summer movies on it’s opening weekend. This movie is a Hollywood re-make or upgrade to the 1974 film of the same name.

The modern version stars John Travolta and Denzel Washington. Travolta plays Ryder, a convict with a plan to trade hostages on a subway like commodities on the stock market. After taking the train over, he begins a rapport with a district train control center operator named Walter Garber played by Washington.

As Walter tries to learn as much as he can about Ryder, a few dark secrets are learned about Walter himself which adds some dimension to the characters. I thought the conversations were a little over the top between the two protagonists, but it was much better than the banter between Denzel and Clive Owen in Inside Man (sadly they are making Inside Man II).

The movie has a simple premise, a couple of mild action sequences, and really no other interesting character’s other than the mayor perhaps (James Gandolfini).

I enjoyed watching the plot unfold and knew it would “end badly” for one of the characters. But this was not a must see summer block buster by any means. I would recommend checking out Pellam 123 on Netflix!

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