Thursday, June 23, 2011

Unstoppable (2010)

Dudes On A Train

- Director Tony Scott and actor Denzel Washington re-team for another fast-paced, high-stakes, heart-pumping action thriller in Unstoppable.

That's right, another one.

Unstoppable is, in short, about two train operators who take it upon themselves to chase down and stop an unmanned runaway train that is carrying explosive materials through urban Pennsylvania.

The plot is pretty predictable with Scott's direction being fairly run-of-the-mill; especially clichéd are some of the film's visuals and the editing back and forth between shocked loved ones and supposed tense sequences featuring characters in danger. Scott does not let the story down per se nor does he fail to successfully execute a sequence in any particular way; the film is just not as remarkable or nail-biting as the back of the film's DVD case might suggest.

The acting follows suit. Denzel Washington offers his usual kind of cinematic persona that we have seen (and most of the time enjoyed) over and over again to the role of Frank, the veteran engineer; while Chris Pine offers a middling performance that impresses little in his role as Will the damaged rookie conductor.

One of the few interesting aspects of the film is how it gives backstories to Frank and Will just through the short exchanges that the two men have inside the train cab. The special effects and action are also, expectedly, some of the film's better qualities.

Overall, I would not say that Unstoppable is a bad film – it is just an average film. The tension is average, the acting is average, the direction is average, and the enjoyment level is, well, average. Unstoppable is enjoyable, throw-away cinematic entertainment that will leave your memory about as quickly as the film runs (about an hour and a half).

CBC Rating: 6/10

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