Lex Petros: The Taking of Pelham 123

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Taking of Pelham 123

(Click on the poster for the official website)

A remake of the 1974 Morton Freedgood aka John Godey's "Taking of Pelham One Two Three". Plot is simple: hijacker takes out the train driver and commandeer a subway train, demanding a hefty ransom (in 1974, a million dollars was the benchmark) with threats to kill passengers one by one if the city fails to comply. Of course, several passengers will die in the process or else the suspense element would be absent and in the end, the good guy kills the bad guy. Nothing original or remarkably novel about the storyline. Just retold in contemporary settings. Directed by Tony Scott, Ridley's younger brother, this remake takes place in modern NY.

One would have thought putting Denzel Washington (Walter Garber) and John Trovolta (Bernard Ryder aka Dennis Ford) against each other would have made the movie more palatable, but yours truly thought the use of these two Oscar winners were a waste of talent. No doubt, their acting proved the test of time, but the immaculate duo deserved a much better script. Half-way through the movie, you'd have guess how the movie was going to end, even if you hadn't watch the original version. Trovolta played an excellent villain in Broken Arrow and Swordfish, where he was always a suave and conniving baddie. In this one, he looks more like an average trigger-happy thug.

I'd say this movie rates a 6/10 on my rating standards. It's really optional to watch this on the silver screen. A DVD movie night would be good enough.


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