Saturday, June 13, 2009

"The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" (2009) - Movie Review

The 1974 “The Taking of Pelham One Two Three” should have been considerably departed from everything from the Tony Scott version. I can see the character of hijacker be more calm and collected than the talkative and maniacal John Travolta’s Ryder. What saves this film through the ballsiness in taking up such a preposterous plot is the actors. Not alone Travolta and Denzel Washington but John Turtoro as the negotiating detective and James Gandolfini as the Mayor of New York City. And their subordinates punctuating their dialogues with the reflex to substantiate the effect for that scene. Hence from an otherwise terrific collapse, “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” cautious in its limits arrives safely and mildly effective to its audience.

The demand money is carried from a long last place in the city in a car with guarded police officers into the hells of the traffic. A passenger car is destroyed, a police officer gets bumped into a parked car and finally the money car itself gets a disastrous end. Mayor of the City (James Gandolfini) in the meantime in the Rail Control center with his assistants asks “Why the hell they did not put the money in the chopper?” and the crew stares silent. This is where the film edges itself out of the misery of the plot considerations, ridiculous ones.

In “Broken Arrow”, John Travolta came as the symbol of style and cool, and taught a thing or two about being a villain without flinching a face muscle. Clean shaven, shades that gets defined by his walk and simply him biting the words to communicate his thoughts were something I remember the life in that time of the film for me. Before we know he stepped in to another villain of style in “Face/Off” and Nicolas Cage joining the ride with him. John Woo got the best from this guy in an unfamiliar role for him in those films. Here he is talkative, boasting, totally uncool but a terror. We would not want him to see us. He bullies and befriends the subway dispatcher forcing to be his negotiator and as he terms broker for his ransom money. He holds a subway car in a crucial point of the route and demands ten million from the city of New York.

Tony Scott hates constant stable images. He gambles with the scrambled imagery of his for a hurried motion in the film making the viewers unstable and blurry. It helps and kills in his films. It has a neutral effect because he gladly chose to fixate camera close ups with Washington’s Garber and Travolta’s Ryder. Scott likes an unusual picture and sound for his music. Here he does not use a serious back ground score for the tense times when Ryder goes on a shooting spree or during the time crunching scenarios of encompassing the mood of the film as such. He begins with “99 Problems” by Jay Z and takes fast track tempo tracks to hip hop it and grunge it. While people are killed, Scott still underlines the factor of entertainment than taking the film to great seriousness.

But he does make the psychological chemistry of Ryder and Garber to line up for the commonality in their situation. Of course it is quite a far feat to link a hijacker to the accused bribing over Garber. At one point in the film, Ryder points a gun at a hostage and demands an honest answer from Garber of his innocence in the accusation. Ryder who planned this whole heist and knows the result, begins to while away the time beginning to colloquial the moral stature in between him and Garber. He almost seem to be obsessed with Garber.

The plot of the film reeks of routine, formula and eventuality. Hence we are not really interested in the outcome of the situation and see what these actors can do with the lines they are given. And they suffice their job with utmost dedication and perfection for what a commercial thriller processing factory demands. Denzel Washington’s man is way too cool handled for the situation he has been put forth but he has also adjusted the complexity of routing and assisting the subway from that closed compartment. Adding to that he is going through the investigation over him for so many days that he sees it as one another thing. Of course it gets to the reality when people begin to die.

“The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” is as regular of a thriller might get and that is exactly what you get out of it. What is so special about this plot that will be far more different from very many other films we have seen before? I do not know. I honestly do not see any kind of speciality with this story. I could not care less about the values Garber holds and Ryder does not. It is mindless game of thriller ride and the actors rise up for the fun.

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