Digital Copy, Audio Commentary with Director Tony Scott, The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable, Derailed: Anatomy of a Scene, Hanging Off the Train: Stunt Work, On the Rails with the Director and Cast, Tracking the Story: Unstoppable Script Development
While the day starts off as any normal day for the railroad station in Fuller, Pennsylvania events turn sour really quickly when two workers start to slack off. Dewey (played by Ethan Suplee) and his buddy Gilleece (played by T.J. Miller) don’t apply the air brakes hose to a train that would stop the train if it reaches a certain speed or if the main station needs to do a remote stop of the train. Though after Dewey jumps off the slow moving train to throw a track switch, the throttle falls down into full speed and the train becomes a runaway. Now this long, very heavy, and loaded with highly combustive chemicals, the train barrels down the tracks. With no one aboard the train to stop it, this runaway train is on a collision course with a train full of school children and a town with a population of over 700,000 people. When 28 year veteran of the train yards Frank (played by Denzel Washington) and his new fresh out of school partner Will (played by Chris Pine) hear about the runaway train that can’t be stopped, they decide that they will try to stop it or die trying.
I Watched It, Now What I Think Of It:
The opening shots with the trains were edited well with all the shaking and movement. If the opening were done without this movement the shot would have been a boring scene of some trains just sitting still on the tracks. It’s this opening that I should have taken heed with the way the flow of the movie was going to go, which is slow but filmed where it tries to be all dramatic and suspenseful.
‘Unstoppable’ really tries to be a movie that makes the viewer tense by having this huge train racing down the tracks that seems to be unstoppable. All the usual tricks to allow this train to reach speeds to make it unstoppable and all of these little tricks just made me annoyed. A man hanging from a helicopter gets lowered down on the train at the exact moment it bumps into another train in front of it forces the man into the windshield of the train where he promptly gets knocked out. Or when one worker is supposed to get to a rail switch to make the train go down another track don’t get there in time. There’s all sorts of stupid little reasons like this that just made me less interested with ‘Unstoppable’.
Though it’s the flow of the movie, the non action action that occurs, and how the characters just don’t have any on screen chemistry with each other that makes ‘Unstoppable’ more lack luster than thrill filled. Here the movie tries to have this full on suspense moment going for it from the beginning to the end but it really don’t. Mostly the first half of the movie had me thinking to myself, get on with it. The scenes with the character of the yardmaster Connie Hooper (played by Rosario Dawson) trying to find a way to stop the train while at the same time fussing with Oscar (played by Kevin Dunn) was useless in my opinion. There is a need for her there, and there is a need for at least one person to be the antagonist but only enough where we get the idea of what’s going on but the character of Oscar is overplayed. Though it’s how slow the development of the movie goes to reach having the two main characters of Will and Frank go after the train. It takes way too long to have them start chasing after the train and when they do it’s back to the same old tricks of having everything go wrong when they try to stop it.
What I also found annoying was how there are scenes thrown in to make the movie have action but only had me wondering, really. A dump truck that’s going too fast while the driver stares down at the radio as he approaches a road block causing him to slam into a truck that has a horse trailer and stops on the tracks with the train racing toward them. It’s this style of action that really annoyed me. I know it’s a movie but come on, try to make it a little more believable. Why is this truck driving so fast? Why is it even in the wrong lane where it’s the oncoming traffic side? How did the driver not see the road block when the road was a straight away and unless he was not looking at the road for at least a mile he would have seen the road block? These moments of the movie make it seem like something is happening but all they are is filler, almost like an appatizer if you will. Take them out and if the movie is good it will be able to still flow without the need of them, but with ‘Unstoppable’ if you take out these filler scenes all that would be left is a 20 minute movie about two guys trying to stop a train.
At no time was I rooting for any of the characters because I knew the outcome of the movie. A good suspense movie will make you think that something could go wrong to make the heroes of the story actually lose. Not here in ‘Unstoppable’. I knew they would win out regardless but having a moment or two where I think they might not would have been nice. I was also not too thrilled with such a happy ending it’s given. In fact I just wasn’t too thrilled with most of the whole movie.Quality Level:
Though ‘Unstoppable’ is not the most exciting thrill ride that it’s supposed to be it does have some good camera work, editing, and looks really nice from the Blu Ray aspect. It’s tough to get good shots that will work when one of the main characters is a moving train. This is really the only part of the movie that impressed me. All the different camera shots pushing along the flow of the movie are executed well. Flying over the train to show how long it is or to show that it’s moving really fast is just one of the many shot angles that is used. It’s also the quality of the Blu Ray that helps make these shot angles look really nice. Seeing the trees whiz by as the camera follows along with the moving train come out crisp. The quality of the Blu Ray was more impressive the story of the movie.
‘Unstoppable’ is not the most thill paced, suspenseful movie that it wants to be but if it came on tv when nothing else was on it wouldn’t be half bad to watch.