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smoothsoul Says, in 1-22-2010 at 03:43:01 from     

I knew that Tony Scott had directed this film, so I didn’t have high hopes. But at worst I thought it might be mediocre. The story is exciting and the screenplay is by Brian Helgeland. With Denzel Washington (and to some extent John Travolta) I thought how bad can it be?

Pretty bad. Tony Scott usually covers up his inadequacy at storytelling with lots of needless fast cutting and pointless special effects. He really works at the level of TV advertisements (the flashy, shallow kind – not the good ones). “The Taking of Pelham 123″ has lots of his usual razzle dazzle, but the surprise is that Helgeland’s script is so poor. The dialogue is one-dimensional and has the usual action cliches (lots of “MF” in the first half).

There are tacky coincidences – such as one of the passengers chatting online with his girlfriend at the time of the hijack – that don’t even lead anywhere. In fact, those two young characters are obviously included to appeal to that demographic; they serve no dramatic purpose. The characterisation beyond the two leads is non-existent. And there’s little explanation how a few years in jail turned a high level Wall Street businessman into someone who seems like a hardened working class dock worker.

There really isn’t anything to redeem this film. Denzel Washington is certainly competent – he seems incapable of being bad. The action is overblown (the exploding blood bags when the baddies get shot are overdone). The ending is obvious and predictable.

Don’t buy this film – don’t even rent it.
Rating: 1 / 5

D. Stokes Says, in 1-22-2010 at 06:00:40 from     

Denzel good, not great; Travolta over the top; nice cameo by Gandolfini; faithful remake; good PQ & AQ; would have liked to have seen alternate ending to film though (as an extra feature).
Rating: 4 / 5

Kristina L. Waters Says, in 1-22-2010 at 06:08:59 from     

Plot made no sense. If the plot is going to be this bad you could at least have some good special effects to make up for it.
Rating: 1 / 5

Grandma Says, in 1-22-2010 at 08:40:00 from     

Really enjoyed the movie. suspense, action and great story line. Bought at amazon along with 18 other movies for holiday gift giving but decided we deserved to have a movie night for us. So glad we picked this one. All you need to add is popcorn and chocolate covered peanuts for a true movie night.
Rating: 5 / 5

Crypto Says, in 1-22-2010 at 09:18:32 from     

I’m hoping someone gives me this DVD for Christmas so I can enjoy (again) smashing the DVD with a hammer and then lighting it on fire.

I watched half the movie. I hate it. I hated it from the instant, about two minutes in, when I saw the tattoo on the side of John Travolta/Ryder’s neck, which of course references Charlton Heston’s subversive declaration in front of the NRA that no one will take HIS guns away except “from my cold dead hands.”

Well, Mr. Heston is dead now, and while I regret the passing of a Hollywood legend there is nothing that could make me happier than to see this mockery of a fine film littering graveyards everywhere, and preferably pet cemeteries.

Why pet cemeteries? Because the character of Ryder has all the appeal of a rabid dog. If you find something appealing about that then by all means go find a rabid dog to play with, but don’t waste a moment of your life watching this movie.
Rating: 1 / 5

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