Unstoppable is another runaway train film starring Denzel Washington (the man must REALLY love his trains) but rather than the fictional events of Pelham 123, Denzel and Director Tony Scott (who also directed Pelham 123 and must have a thing for trains) have to deal with real events in Unstoppable.
Though the term inspired by true events lets you know that Unstoppable is pretty much chock full of artist license, with the real event being a much more mundane event.
Scott Free (Tony Scott’s production company) films are rarely mundane, with his breakout film Top Gun leading the way to a string of action packed successes that include four films with Denzel.
The interesting thing with Unstoppable is that, even with everything added to the story, it really still is only a mundane tale about a runaway train.
The film kicks off with the predictable stupidity of a fat man being lazy and some serious bad luck, and then once the train is on a course to disaster, Scott throws in a trainload of school children, taking part in a train safety awareness school trip (oh the irony) ramping up the emotional aspect of this runaway thriller.
Surprisingly though, the school kids are not the end game – and consider this a spoiler if you will – this seemingly important plot element is soon safely put to bed before the film really kicks into high gear.
Politics and action play the biggest roles in Unstoppable, with the big bad train corporation playing political roulette with peoples lives making it easy for us the viewer to empathise with Washington’s and Pine’s initially unlovable characters.
Through over dramatising and some motion sickness inducing camera work, Scott manages to pull a lot of momentum from an essentially static set.
The sound and visuals are pure Hollywood and by the time Scott throws his train story into unbelievable territory we don’t really care because once again Scott’s managed to drug us up with celluloid adrenaline that all we care about is seeing the end game where the good guys win and the bad guys loose their jobs.
It’s pure Hollywood fantasy, but that’s what makes Unstoppable a great Friday night film. It entertains in a big way, gets you pumped up, and gives you a happy entry into your weekend.
Reviewed by: Jonathan