Unstoppable ***1/2

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"“Unstoppable” is a red blooded disaster thriller about a runaway train full of toxic chemicals and the two blue collar engineers that put their lives in harms way to try and stop it.  It is also the latest from director Tony Scott, who finds his own career back on track after last years misfire, “The Taking Of Pelham 123”.

This film stars Denzel Washington and Chris Pine as the engineers who decide to chase down this speeding time bomb and try to stop it.  Their plan is to pull up behind it, hook on, and stomp the breaks.  This is after a previous train tried to do the same by pulling out in front of it.  The first train eventually derailed and exploded in one of the movies most exciting scenes. 

It is a testament to the talent of Tony Scott and his crew that they can make a chase between trains exciting considering they can only travel in a straight line.  The sheer craftsmanship on display here is astonishing, particularly in the soundtrack.  Every scene sounds as if there is actually a thousand ton piece of metal that is speeding out of control right in front of our eyes. 

I have complained that Tony Scott’s films had become too much about flashy, incomprehensible images.  He seems to have moved back towards putting up images that give us an actual sense of how the action scenes are playing out.  Hopefully other action directors will follow suit and drop the visual chaos that a lot of genre films seem to be suffering from. 

 

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