“Tony Scott‘s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (Columbia, 6.12) , which I saw last night, is an unquestionably better film – more rousing and flavorful, zippier and craftier — than the 1974 Joseph Sargent original”
says Jeff Wells in the opening paragraph of his very favoursome review of the soon to be released summer actioner starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, a big budget Hollywood remake of a semi-classic.
Indeed, if it wasn’t for the fact that it was Wells reviewing, a critic I’m more than happy to trust my £6.80 with, I would have clicked away at disgust. But still Jeff, an “unquestionably better film?”. Are you serious, because that’s not the impression I’m getting from everything I have seen so far.
Don’t you like the original movie, it didn’t need the Tony Scott explosions to generate tension or interest?
“The New York subway-kidnap hostage thriller has more intricate plotting than the ’74 film, richer characterizations of the top MTA guy (Denzel Washington in the old Walter Matthau role) and top-dog hostage-taking badass (John Travolta in the Robert Shaw role) and a slew of supporting performances across the board that are much more vivid and interesting than those from the class of ’74, and at the same time less broad and farcical”.
Yeah but they aren’t colour coded this time, so who cares? Nah seriously, you lost me at the Travolta rave, this looks no different to any performance he has given in the past ten years, including one he has upcoming...
“Travolta…my God, he’s a friggin’ madman in this thing! Fierce, irate, flying off the handle, lunging — his finest bad guy since the “”ain’t it cool?” guy in Broken Arrow”.
The Taking of Pelham 123 doesn’t open in the U.K. till July 24th, and it’s out next Friday in the U.S.
This article was first posted on June 5, 2009