Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

November 26, 2010

Gravy train

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 10:36 pm

November 26, 2010

Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson

Director: Tony Scott

True to its name, director Tony Scott’s Unstoppable is a fast-paced action thriller that takes a little while to pick up speed, but once moving, rolls along furiously barely allowing you to catch your breath or ponder the silliness of the situation.

The film is loosely based on a real incident that took place in Ohio in 2001, and tells the daring story of two railway workers who raced against the clock to stop an unmanned speeding train loaded with toxic chemicals from crashing into a densely populated town. Denzel Washington stars as a veteran railway engineer and Chris Pine as a newbie conductor who get off on the wrong foot the morning they are paired together on duty. But when the incompetence of two lazy railway employees sends a train down the line without a conductor or brakes, our heroes set off on a seemingly impossible rescue mission that has the nation watching and praying.

Scott uses minimal computer effects, and concentrates instead on raising the pressure every few minutes by creating highly implausible situations that are nevertheless watchable because both actors bring a degree of integrity to their performance. It helps also that Scott uses his camera fearlessly, swooping up and down the hurtling train and throwing you at the center of the action.

Yet I must confess I thought Scott’s previous train-thriller, last year’s The Taking of Pelham 123 was a more satisfying film in terms of nail-biting tension. In my opinion, the thrill of watching your hero work out ways to outsmart the villain is far more enjoyable than the physical dare-devilry involved in stopping a wayward train. Having said that, Unstoppable still works because it’s an unpretentious formulaic film that delivers exactly what it promises.

I’m going with three out of five for Tony Scott’s Unstoppable. If you don’t want to tax your grey cells, here’s a simple enough entertainer that’s fun while it lasts, but hard to remember after you’ve left your seat.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. I will watch it on Sunday.

    Comment by Kunal — November 26, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  2. please dont watch it on sunday. i’d suggest thursday

    Comment by kunal2 — November 26, 2010 @ 11:13 pm

  3. Why? Will it look better on Thursday? Lol…

    Comment by Kunal — November 26, 2010 @ 11:44 pm

  4. This movie is sheer adrenaline rush…Highly predictable…But heck…Apart from ” A man Apart”, all Tony scott films are, Loaded with doses of fun…Best pick of this week…

    Comment by Rahul — November 27, 2010 @ 12:45 am

  5. Looks nice… Wil watch it on Torrent LOL

    Comment by Dhrumil — November 27, 2010 @ 2:17 am

  6. i m going to watch it today,lets c hw it pans out to be,fingers crossed..

    Comment by harjot — November 27, 2010 @ 11:22 am

  7. Wow the film is great. It keeps you at the edge of your seat. Loved it. Perfect review. Movie is so fast i dint beleive 1 and half hr have passed.

    Comment by Chaitanya Jagtap — November 27, 2010 @ 8:25 pm

  8. From the trailer atleast, the story looked somewhat similar to the 1980 film “The Burning Train” starring Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna and Jeetendra. Is that so, Rajeev ?

    Comment by Chinmay — November 27, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

  9. Efforts to stop this train are laughable, but unlike our own turning brain this movie is very entertaining, Brakes intact, no passenger,fire,bomb or Danny.This train is not really Unstoppable, reminds me of The Burning Train at every turn.

    Comment by MANISH — November 28, 2010 @ 6:11 pm

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