Ratings: – * * *
I am firmly of the view that a remake should not be compared with the original film. It’s my belief that a remake is a way of looking at a particular story in a different way and during a different time-span. It’s more like an experiment as well as a tribute. Having said that, I am forced to say that the original 1974 flick The Taking Of Pelham 123 should be better than this remake by Tony Scott, only because of a particular scene which I found illogical.
After grabbing the ransom money, why on earth will a terrorist walk on the streets of a city without a care in the world so that the cops can catch or shoot him? Even someone like me, who has no criminal record, would know that the first thing in this situation to do is to flee from the city or country as soon as possible. However, in spite of this, this remake is worth watching mostly because of the technical aspects, the sleek look and the performances.
It’s a typical hostage drama where Ryder (John Travolta) and his group hijack the New York City’s subway train The Pelham 123 and demand a huge ransom in return within 60 minutes. Ryder vows to gun down one person every minute after the deadline. Walter Garber (Denzel Washington), an MTA official, is forced to become the negotiator due to the recent circumstances in his life.
Thanks to a gripping screenplay and some stylish effects, the interest is generated throughout the 121 minutes. Plus, some innovative camerawork add to the plus points. The bird view shots are terrific. The above mention points help a great deal when the goings goes off-track slightly in between. The stunts and the action too deserve special mention. However, the couple of accidents included looked like a forced attempt to create thrill.
Travolta and Washington’s performance and the witty interaction between them act as the main pillar. Here, the dialogue writer deserves applause for creating a bond between the characters. Because of these plusses, The Taking Of Pelham 123 can be quite satisfying, especially for thriller lovers.