The Taking Of Pelham 123 is the remake of the 1974 classic slow moving 1970’s heist movie about a group of gangsters who pull of metro train heist, hit the city of New york with massive ransom fees if not they kill off a passenger of every minute if ransom not met in 1 hour.
The original version starred Walter Matthau with Robert Shaw as the gang ringleader with John Travolta stepping into Shaw’s shoes and Denzil washington into Matthau’s. I have to say I enjoyed Travolta’s performance as the over the top psychopath with religious overtones, stock market following snarling nutjob who throws tantrums like a child that doesn’t get there own way. “The Mayor can lick my bunghole” straight out of Beavis and Butthead book of sayings, but I waited with interpretation for ” I’m the great Cornhole, I need teepee for my bunghole, Tippee!!” but Mr Travolta declined to add another childish line to his script.
There’s only so many times Denzil Washington can play Mr Niceguy with the parts he play’s, its time to get a bit more rough and tumble. He was ok with his part of a subway train dispatcher come hero but he just didn’t convince me as much, no charisma or passion, maybe he’ll be a lot better in The Book Of Eli.
I have the utmost respect for Tony Scott, he is an action film Maestro, but his over-zealous action style of directing didn’t suit this remake and when you expected the action you just waited and waited but nothing happened. This is a slowish movie with not a lot of action possible with another director who slows things down (and can get things going fast again) in place may have made this even more enjoyable. The Police car smash was ok but once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. Scott did get in a few of his trademarks which worked well.
There was a few other actors in it, many unforgettable but I can come to terms of watching James Gandolfini as a mayor or some type of good guy (with a few dark secrets) after watching him in the Soprano’s for many years.
The Taking of Pelham 123 original is a fantastic heist movie of 1970’s just ask Tarantino who was inspired by the movie when he created Reservoir Dogs. 2009 version was ok and it did do the job and slightly entertain me for a few hours but nothing more, the film was brilliantly put together but I think the typewriter must have run out of ink when creating the weak storyline. Taking of Pelham 123 is a run of the mill action/thriller which had its moments, its time tony to watch a few more of brother Ridley’s movies and one day it will all come good again.
★★★| Paul Devine
Action, Crime, Thriller | USA, 2009 | 15 | Sony Pictures | 31st July 2009 | Dir.Tony Scott | Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzmán, James Gandolfini, John Turturro, Michael Rispoli
Originally Posted at The Peoples Movies | 9th August 2009