Thursday, June 11, 2009

Review: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123

I love a movie that can jolt my midweek and energize me enough to make Friday happy hour seem a lot closer than it is. THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 is one high-octane action thriller that is stylish, engaging, and entertaining. Of course, I think I'm the only one who did not know that this film is a remake of a 1974 classic. So I'm not going to give you the full synopsis. All you need to know is that an NYC subway dispatcher's day becomes a lot more exciting when one of the trains on his assigned tracks gets hijacked with hostages held for ransom at $10M. The city has one hour to deliver the cash. And the clock is ticking. Denzel Washington, John Travolta and James Gandolfini are all excellent in this movie. I cannot think of a better bad ass subway hijacker than Travolta. He makes being bad seems so enjoyable.

PELHAM 123 is just mindless entertainment. The key word is entertainment -- it's a lot of fun! And you know that you are just watching a movie. I know films about NYC and a terrorist attack seem to bring nostalgia all the time. But this one for sure feels like just an enjoyable ride sans the emotional baggage.

I'm sure there are purists out there who find it blasphemous that a remake of what already is a great movie (as I was told) is even made. Let them have ulcers.
~MG
THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 opens in theaters nationwide tomorrow, Friday.

1 comment:

Bob said...

I saw the original...I think... thirty five years ago, but certainly can't remember it much, except I know the critics are enjoying comparing the new one unfavorably to the first one. I agree with Michael...mindless entertainment, if you like this genre. I found the fast-forward shots and the frenetic non-stop pace a little exhausting by the end, but it's a good summertime thriller that fans of the stars will enjoy. I have always been a John Turturo fan, and liked his role in the movie...all calm, cool and collected.

Another film opening this weekend, this one at The Little,I can heartily recommend, having seen it last night in Toronto, is EVERY LITTLE STEP. If you love Broadway musicals, and A Chorus Line specifically, you won't want to miss this very well done documentary about the audition process for the revival of this wonderful show three or four years ago. You will laugh...and you will cry. Jason will amaze you.

I'll say no more.