UNSTOPPABLE Review

Tony Scott seems to enjoy movies concerning trains, as well as those that star Denzel Washington. In their fifth film together, Mr. Scott and Mr. Washington tackle a huge industry that few truly understand the inner-workings of. Being as this is a Tony Scott film though, the focus is not really on the men and women who keep this huge business running, but it is about the action, it is about what happens when a yard worker ignores the little things and accidentally allows a train a half mile long to escape onto the main railway. The story is simple, though adding elements such as a harmful chemical being carried by the runaway train, a carriage of school children and a stubborn boss more interested in profit than people are all nice, if not stock conflicts to introduce into the script. I am glad to report though that the film keeps its main focus where it needs to be and that is on the developing relationship between Washington's Frank and Chris Pine's Will. Initially we get more background story on the younger of the two while Frank's is rolled out in his day to day chores and discussions with his new conductor. I enjoyed that it was all sincere and rather natural, though I felt the additional shots of Frank's daughters waitressing their way through college at Hooters were completely unnecessary and simply an excuse for the crew to spend the day at the restaurant. After his star-making turn in 'Star Trek' last year it is good to see Pine quickly coming back with a good quality film that doesn't say he is trying to do too much too fast with his career. He makes a nice foil for Denzels all too familiar character as well. They are coming with two very different points of view from the very opposite ends of the spectrum. One who should be on his way out the door, but is suffering due to cut backs and the other who is struggling just to keep a job with all that is going down in his personal life. They both endure family issues and they both work on a train, but after that this isn't the buddy buddy action flick team you might have imagined it would be after seeing the trailer. To put it simply, the relationship between our two leads had much more depth to it than I imagined. The supporting cast is rather enjoyable to watch as well, be it Ethan Suplee who is the cause for all of this, Kevin Corrigan who is underused and Kevin Dunn who is always a pleasure no matter how ignorant a character he plays. Rosario Dawson is also a pleasure and handles her strong supporting character well despite her clearly cinematic dialogue displayed in the trailers. And while this is one of the best films Washington and Scott have made since 'Man On Fire' I have genuinely enjoyed all of their films together. This is simply a fast paced action film that goes from start to finish without slowing down and has some great bits of tension in it. As for complaints I can really only say the soundtrack is the one detracting thing for me. It is full of club songs that don't match the tone of the film at all. It simply doesn't make sense and though the quick edits and saturated color palette are all representative of a Tony Scott movie, the music was a bad idea. What isn't a bad idea is going to see 'Unstoppable' on a free afternoon.