*Denzel Washington’s newest film, “Unstoppable,” hit’s theaters in North America this Weekend and if you’ve seen the trailer or TV spots, you know it looks to be really exciting and entertaining.
However, if you’re wondering if all the good parts were used in the clips you’ve seen, you might want to read what The Hollywood Reporter’s Todd McCarthy has to say about this action filled flick:
Director Tony Scott may have missed his mark by a bit on his last cinematic train ride with “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three,” but he hits his target dead-on in “Unstoppable.”
The best blue collar action movie in who knows how long, this tense, narrowly focused thriller about a runaway freight train has a lean and pure simplicity to it that is satisfying in and of itself.
But in its incidental portrait of discontented and discounted working stiffs who live marginal lives on society’s sidings and are angry to varying degrees, the film carries an unexpected weight and could connect with Middle American audiences in a big way.
Inspired by a real story from 2001 of a 47-car train carrying toxic molten phenol acid that left the yard without an engineer on board and charged through Ohio for more than two hours before it was boarded and brought under control, the script features working class characters who are uniformly pissed off and carry their bad attitudes to work.
On this given day in central Pennsylvania, Will (Chris Pine), a young man whose wife has obtained a restraining order against him, is assigned as conductor on a freight run with veteran engineer Frank (Denzel Washington), whose college-age daughters work at Hooters but who otherwise keeps his problems to himself. Will’s youth and family political connections do nothing to endear him to Frank’s circle of grizzled veterans at the train yard, where morale seems very low indeed.
In fact, it is incompetence and a cavalier “whatever” attitude that triggers the crisis when a slovenly, overweight engineer (Ethan Suplee) hops off his cab to reset a switch and then can’t catch up as his train (on which the air brakes also happen to be disconnected) rolls out of the yard. There’s a bit of cheap suspense as the “coaster,” as the runaway is initially called, is on a collision course with a trainload of school children but, once that’s averted, the suspense and excitement build without distraction or pause. Just when you think things might be okay, they’re not, and the train — and the film — keep charging ahead to the outstanding finale.
Watch the trailer for “Unstoppable”: