By Mark Ramsey | 2010/11/14

Every decrepit train depot in Pennsylvania is the backdrop for Unstoppable, a movie that is guaranteed to brake for whatever comes out next weekend.

I never thought a movie about trains could be exciting, and I was right.

A train crashes into a trailer!  POW!  Let’s show it four times – from four different angles!  Because it’s almost like four times as much action, right?

I don’t know which is less realistic, Chris Pine as a train engineer or Rosario Dawson as a station master.

“My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard,” said Rosario.  “The train yard.”

“Yes, I’ve moved to the station master chapter in my career,” said Rosario.  “It’s the chapter that comes right between ingenue and Law and Order.”

Added Chris, “I used to make trains out of Legos, but I haven’t done that in several months now.”

The old pro is Denzel Washington, who was in another train movie with director Tony Scott just last year, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3. “Tony and I like trains,” explained Denzel.  “They keep our attention on the tracks even while our careers go off the rails.”

As usual with Tony Scott, the camera never stops moving, thus creating the impression of action even when “action” means Rosario Dawson screaming into a microphone, watching a dot move towards destiny on a big TV screen.  “That animated dot is picking up speed!” warns Rosario.

It is at this point that no tax dollar is spared in piling a class of kids aboard a train to be educated about train safety.  Yes, the cure for cancer remains elusive, and the US lags in math and science skills, but never let it be said our youth are deficient in their understanding of locomotive safety!

What?!  Our children are at risk on a train?  It’s a good thing we don’t need to educate cars full of puppies and kittens about train safety!  Imagine the dramatic tension then!

“What time is train time?” asks the teacher.

“Any time!” shout the kids.

“And when will Tony and Denzel make a movie about another antiquated relic of centuries past like, say, a runaway cotton gin or a runaway fax machine or a runaway episode of The Brady Bunch?”

“Any time!” shout the kids.

An action movie about trains?  You mean those slow-moving things that take forever to pass a train crossing so you can pass?  Yes, the very ones.  Action, indeed.

Bring on Charlton Heston!  In fact, let’s get George Kennedy to hire a jet-powered helicopter in order to drop Heston into the cockpit of this train as it speeds down the tracks.  “That’ll never work!” warms Karen Black, and she’s one to know.

Unstoppable has more jargon per square inch of film than any ten other movies:

“I’ll set the independent!”  “We’ve got a coaster!”  “I’ll cut in some cars!” “Pull the pins!”  “Where’s the next siding?”  “What the Hell are we all talking about here, I went to Yale School of Drama?!”

But forget all that!  How’s this playing down at Hooters?  That’s where Denzel’s daughters work, and it’s there that every patron takes their eyes off the hooters long enough to watch speeding trains on TV.  “I’m a caboose man, myself,” said one anonymous patron.

Unstoppable feels like it will never stop – and never end.

This is the best argument for trucking and air freight I can imagine.


6 Responses to “Unstoppable”

  1. Suhaib says:

    After reading you, I “Have” to watch this… I never thought train movies were exciting and… I was right hahahahahahaah

    Brilliant Mark!


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    Thanks – I think!


  2. rich says:

    you sound like an idiot
    went to Yale School of Drama?!”
    who cares? i like trains and train jargon..thats what makes a movie realistic. and Denzel is just awesome!


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    You like trains and train jargon? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the guy who likes trains and train jargon.

    Do you also collect old laser pointers?


  3. La says:

    Look fudgepucker, Chris Pine was absolutely believable in this role and it wasn’t about you and your life. It was a depiction of the tensions between experienced workers and those entering that profession, which was easily understood by the rest of us. I am an action flick girl and this was a simple premis yes, but I had to keep intentionally relaxing throughout this film. The pace of the film was exciting and provided a great afternoon of entertainment. Not everything is grossout humor and overdrawn acting. Chill out once in a while and just enjoy yourself. p.s. any one who doesn’t like looking at Chris Pine for any reason or length of time is just a sad human being. And Dezel is always good.


    Mark Ramsey Reply:

    You’re right, Dezel rules! Go Dezel go!


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