Mon, Nov 15, 2010

: Unstoppable

The trailer didn’t make me want to watch this much as it seemed to tell me the entire movie: runaway train with hazardous materials on board and two heroic engineers out to stop it. But I was curious about the implementation. The trailer didn’t make it clear how the train became a runaway, nor exactly how it would be stopped. I loved the way that was revealed in the film. It was a believable series of mistakes and bad timing that all led to every backup contingency failing. Then we watch as things get worse and attempt after attempt to stop the train fails, and the tension builds. There’s also a side drama of the train corporation attempting to cover their ass and minimize their liability. That sets things up for our two heroes to save the day, and though that’s stretched out too long, it is exciting and very well done. I thought the director did a decent job of explaining train mechanics and setting up the situation, and the action scenes of the train stuff are excellent, but there are several places where the train location and speed are confusing. For instance, in one sequence the train seems to travel 12 miles in a few seconds, and in another a 3-mile track at 70 mph takes 20 minutes of screen time. Some of that is necessary for storytelling, of course, but with a complicated train-rescue sequence to explain such inconsistencies should have been cleared up. Overall the film’s excellent: a lot of fun, full of exciting tension, with some decent character stuff behind the scenes, and though the story’s predictable, it is gripping and still worth watching.

Topic: [/movie]