Free passes to the cinema are one of life’s little luxuries. Anything free is welcomed in life, but when it’s a trip to the big-screen that’s being offered, I will snap anyone’s hand off for the chance to see the latest release for 0% of the cost. Now, there’s only two things sweeter than a free cinema ticket, and that’s TWO free cinema tickets and the prospect of going to the flicks to see a film that I am actually looking forward to 9 days before release day!
Elle and I jumped on the chance, through http://www.seefilmfirst.com to head over to Cineworld Bradford to watch “Unstoppable”, the new action flick produced & directed by Tony “A-Team” Scott, starring Denzel “iplaythesamecharacterineverymovieiamin” Washington and Chris “ooh look at me playing Captain Kirk” Pine.
The trailer looked amazing and it was a film I was very much going to pay my hard-earned cash to see upon release anyway, but the thought that it may get lost amongst the Potter-Mania that’s about to hit was a worrying one.
The movie-drama is loosely based upon a real runaway-train situation from 2001 when a 47-car locomotive in Ohio ran 66 miles completely unmanned…and here we have the central basis for this story…the runaway train.
Now…forgive me for being a little cynical, but the idea of a runaway train, although appealing at first-glance soon causes some issues. Firstly, the main problem you have with a movie about a runaway train is that you’re always going to be, and please forgive the pun…”on the rails”. As with previous runaway-type action films, such as the much-loved “Speed”, you never really knew what was going to occur because lets face it, a bus can go almost anywhere, but the plight of a loose train is stuck to the tracks and is not going to bring about many surprises. This means that unfortunately, most of the movie’s action can actually be seen by watching the trailer!
Sure, there’s peril, a flimsy two-character back story and the odd “ohshitwhatsgoingtohappennext” moment, but you have to look at a movie like this and wonder whether the end-product was actually worth the $100,000,000 price tag it cost to make. Even more interesting was that news had it that Denzel too a $4million pay-cut from his usual $20million to play in this movie…so where has all the other money gone? Probably just to the state of Pennsylvania to shut down sections of the track for the film to be made.
In essence, the idea is there, it’s fun for the 98 minutes it plays and there’s a couple of tense moments and a spattering of comedy which will keep the casual cinema-goer happy. But the scenario itself does not lend well to all-out action, even if you do throw some Molten Phenol into the mix (yeah we had to have that described to us in the movie too).
Denzel does a good job and Chris Pine is decent enough in the “rookie-conductor” role opposite Washington’s veteran, and it was nice to see Ethan “Earlsbrotherfrommynameisearl” Suplee making a small appearance too. Tony Scott also puts in plenty of shots swinging around the cabin as well as plenty of train-shots to keep even the most anorak of movie-goers happy.
Overall vote for Unstoppable is a generous 6 carriages of fun out of ten.
Wait for the DVD.