Unstoppable is stopped by horrible First Act! Michelle’s Review!!

Unstoppable Movie Review

Generally, I think Tony Scott is an intriguing director, but I’ve never got the feeling that he has a definable style or that signature genre which he excels in – other than teaming up with Denzel Washington on 5 different movies. The problem starts immediately with the introduction of Frank (Denzel Washington). He’s the type of guy that we don’t want to spend five minutes with that alone however long this movie is – it feels like three hours. You know the type, the know it all who never lets you forget that they know everything. After five minutes I wanted him to just shut up already.

Instead he goes into over drive when he’s charged with training the new kid on the block Will (Chris Pine) who all of the old timers immediately dislike because they assume he got his job because a relative is a big union boss (or something). There is no chemistry between Pine and Washington. This entire opening sequence is a painfully boring by the numbers affair. After about 15 minutes we finally get to the runaway train, but the train isn’t a “runaway” at this point, more like a slow crawl. This is where the movie permanently lost me.

When the train operator leaves the Car to fix an issue on the tracks he just stares at the train as it goes past him. At this point the train is going about 2 miles an hour he could have easily got back on and stopped it. Instead he just stands there and stares at the unmanned train, while his co-workers just sit there and laughs at him. If any of these people took this seriously the movie would have been over in about 5 minutes, instead everyone just laughs “Ha, ha, that guy lost his train…” They assumed the emergency breaks would kick in and didn’t even attempt to stop it until after the train left the station and while they were chasing the train down the clown who caused this, STILL didn’t take it seriously. After this poor set up, the movie finally “starts” and it never gets better.

The movie also looks incredibly bland and drab; there’s no interesting soundtrack to hang your hat on and no one seems to have a sense of urgency about stopping this train. The entire affair feels like everyone is only in it for the money and not to actually tell a compelling story. Scott waits almost until the third act before he picks up the pace, by then I stopped caring about anything going on screen and kept thinking to myself, there are a million things I’d rather be doing than sitting here. There may be a decent action movie in here somewhere but Unstoppable is stopped in its tracks by a horrible set up.

Final Grade D

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 11.13.2010

1 Comment

  1. “Unstoppable” is ‘inspired’ by actual events and tells the story of a runaway freight train in Pennsylvania carrying dangerous cargo. Two men on a different train work to stop the train. Be prepared for a very loud soundtrack and lots of predictability.

    GRADE = “B-“

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