In a year when every summer film has been directed by some bland, visionless studio hack like McG, it was great watching a movie that clearly had a style and vision to it. At no point in “The Taking of Pelham 123,” you do not know that yes, this is a Tony Scott movie. All of his signature touches are here – the slow-quick motion edits, the fly in transitions, the map of the city with the text overlays it’s all here. Usually, I don’t like it when Directors insert themselves into the movie, but here it works.
For a movie written by a great screenwriter like Brian Helgeland, it’s filled with some draw droppingly bad moments. There were times when things got so stupid that I wanted to walk out, these moments kept taking me out of an otherwise thoroughly enjoyable movie. It’s why I’m having so much trouble with this review, does the good make you forget the bad? Ultimately, yes, but wow the bad moments are really, really bad. Most of them center around New York City’s Mayor (James Gandolfini) and this idiot Girl whose boyfriend has a laptop on the train that happens to have the web cam turned on so everyone in the city can see what’s going on. I got the feeling she cared more about being an Internet star than her boyfriend, there’s this dumb moment when she’s begging her boyfriend to tell her he loves her when one of the Terrorist is right near the computer.