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.