Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Unstoppable (?) a.k.a. Speed 3:Express Train

I had two different people reply "You mean Speed on a train" when I told them I was going to see Unstoppable. They're not wrong. But you add the "Inspired by Real Events" and you have added another layer. None of which make this that much more watchable.

On another site, I posted some of my initial thoughts when the trailer came out. You can read them here: http://videogum.com/209481/raising-the-stakes-on-the-unstoppable-train/movies/trailer/#comment-7672692

None of my original speculation turned out to be true. This isn't "Man against Man". This is "Man against Machine / idiot conductor". My viewing partner was nerve wracked during the movie. I was just waiting for it to be over. Do you remember the Will Smith movie Enemy of the State? It is directed by the same guy. Since the movie doesn't really inspire me to write an actual review, let's compare Unstoppable and Enemy of the State, shall we?

Our Heroes
Enemy of the State - Will Smith and Gene Hackman
Unstoppable - Denzel Washington and Chris Pine

Do They Like Each Other at First? (rhetorical):
Enemy of the State - No.
Unstoppable - No.

Do They Come to Respect Each Other?
Enemy of the State - Shockingly, yes.
Unstoppable - Yeppers.

Is one of our heroes having marital troubles?
Enemy of the State - Will Smith, accused of banging some other broad (Denise from Cosby Show)
Unstoppable - Pine is jealous and made his wife flinch when asking her who she was texting (swear to God)

Actor from Mallrats:
Enemy of the State - Jason Lee
Unstoppable - Ethan Suplee

Does the movie have that slick Tony Scott color scheme?
Enemy of the State - Yes. A lot of muted tones.
Unstoppable - Except for the red truck and train board, but yeah it has the same visual look he always uses.

Who is the old guy full of sass?
Enemy of the State - The white guy (Hackman)
Unstoppable - The black guy (Washington)

What made them so sassy?
Enemy of the State - He used to develop spy tech, then got paranoid (justified).
Unstoppable - Forced retirement so he doesn't get full pension.

The movie is full of ridiculous characters (ponytail train welder) and even more outlandish dialog ("We're talking about a missle the size of the Chrysler Building"). Good stuff. My last prediction is that just like Enemy of the State, this movie will play on cable but will be one that you will forget about until someone at a party says "hey, remember that train movie with Denzel Washington, what was that called?". Until that day comes, keep on trucking.

Did you enjoy it?
Not really.

Would you see it in theaters again?
Not likely.

Would you buy it?
Not nearly.

Would you rent it?
Not conceivably.

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Not possible.


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