Movie Review: The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)


First off, I'm not from New York City and I didn't watch the 1974 original film starring Walter Matthau. Too bad for me because I think those two things would have made the experience of watching The Taking of Pelham 123 much better.

Set in modern day New York City, the film is about the hijacking of a subway train by a loose cannon named Ryder (played by John Travolta) and how a disgraced Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) employee (played by Denzel Washington) becomes the accidental hero. Like many films directed y Tony Scott, the movie features lots of fast cuts and hyperkinetic action that will satisfy the popcorn crowd.

But this film is no Die Hard-- the plot is hard to follow and the film, in my opinion, gets confusing as I had a hard time following the motivations of the hijack and Ryder's intentions. Likewise, the hero of the film is just too drab. Washington plays a family man, but I never got to root for him. (Heck, I found Ryder's ingenious plan more admirable!)

But the 2009 version of hijack classic is an update that makes sense today. From the energy, the technology, and the post 9/11 sensibilities, The Taking of Pelham 123 is a nice ride.


Rating: 3/5


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