Film Review: Unstoppable (2010)

It is no secret that Tony Scott’s directorial efforts over the last few years, The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009) and Deja Vu (2006), have been major critical flops.  Though, I personally enjoyed both, my opinion was not commonly shared.  Both of those films, and this one as well, star Denzel Washington, perhaps one of the most likable talents in Hollywood today.  The Scott-Washington duo began with 2004’s Man on Fire and has created the three other films since.

Joining Washington is one of Hollywood’s up-and-coming action stars, Chris Pine.  Though Pine has appeared in about ten movies so far, he became widely recognized in 2009 for his excellent portrayal of the young Jame T. Kirk in J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek.  The two stars make a great team here as a pair of trainmen while also delivering satisfying individual performances.

Washington in particular, is an actor that I have tremendous respect for.  Though he has appeared in a considerable amount of action pictures in the last decade, he is not ever pictured as one limited to that field.  He meets every role he plays, even those that don’t require much effort, with what seems to be sincere determination.  For this reason, most of his films seem to be lit up with his own enthusiasm.

Unstoppable however, does not, such as films like John Q. and Pelham 123, depend solely on the performances of its stars.  They are instead assisted here by an antsy, electrifying score, extremely stylistic editing (resembling Pelham and Deja Vu in that aspect), and nail-biting action.  I advise the reader to watch the trailer; what you see in those three minutes is exactly what you can expect to enjoy during the actual viewing.

Washington and Pine (as train engineer and conductor) try to stop an unmanned train dubbed ‘unstoppable’ by the movie’s title.  To some, this will seem like an inferior knock-off of 1994’s Speed (starring Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, and Dennis Hopper).  The films are similar, and Speed, no doubt, is superior, but that doesn’t stop Unstoppable from becoming an entertaining venture.

Rating: 3.5/5