Synopsis: In The Taking of Pelham 123, a subway train is hijacked in New York City.
Release Date: June 12, 2009 MPAA Rating: PG-13
Genre(s): Thriller, Action
The Taking of Pelham 123 does provide a great deal of suspense but the extreme seriousness of the situation the plot is trying to convey never quite reaches the level one would expect. The Taking of Pelham 123 also lacks any real twists in the story and what is supposed to be a surprise is so clearly obvious given the build-up to the moment. What it does make quite obvious is how traffic in a big city can be most inconvenient.
John Travolta and Denzel Washington may be the stars of The Taking of Pelham 123 as Ryder and Walter, respectively, but James Gandolfini as the Mayor shines over all of them. Gandolfini’s Mayor is a character who lacks any respect for his city, has absolutely no scruples and is simply biding his time until retirement. He is no hero of the people but he is incredibly hilarious. You cannot help but laugh at his jokes and the way he takes no shame is showing his disdain for his job and the requirements it sets forth. You know you should hate him but it is impossible as he provides the comic relief you desperately need in The Taking of Pelham 123.
Keeping with the claustrophobic nature of the character’s surroundings the majority of The Taking of Pelham 123 is shot in extreme and standard close-ups of the two main characters. This reflects the nature of their positions in the story, both chained to a specific location as the action unfolds. The choice to focus on the characters in such close shots is completely relevant and a wise choice as it brings the viewer up close and personal with the character and their state of mind.
The majority of The Taking of Pelham 123 takes place in two places, the control center for the subway system and inside a subway car. This does not leave much space for action or any movement at all. There are towards the end of the film a bunch of standard car chases and crashes but nothing really exciting. This movie is more about the psychological suspense, it’s all talk and no thrill.
Cast and Crew
- Director(s): Tony Scott
- Screenwriters: Brian Helgeland, Steve Tisch
- Cast: Denzel Washington (Walter Garber), John Travolta (Ryder), John Turturro (Camonetti), James Gandolfini (Mayor)
- Additional Crew: Chris Lebenzon, Tobias Schliessler, Chris Seagers. Harry Gregson-Williams
- Country Of Origin: USA, UK