‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’ is the most "Tony Scott" film that Tony Scott has ever made. It overused so much of his directing techniques and style in it, that the movie almost became a parody of his own films. This is definitely a signature film because his name is embeded in every scene of the film. From the very beginning of the movie there was that hard and fast blur style that we see in all of his films.
You would think the guy would experiment with several different styles and try new things, but he doesn’t. When you go to a Tony Scott film you know exactly what you are going to get. Most of his films, including ‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’ are like watching a two hour long music video with a story and dialogue added into the mix.
The movie is about a group of armed men that hijack a New York City subway train. They hold the passengers of this train hostage for a $10 million dollar ransom from the city. This event ends up pulling in a guy by the name of Walter Garbe who is a subway train dispatcher. He ends up being the only guy that the mastermind of the crime will deal with.
I don’t want to compare this movie to the original film that it is based on. The story is pretty simple there is not much thinking that the audience has to do in a movie like this. The story was told in classic Tony Scott fashion. It wasn’t a bad way to tell the story but his directing techniques got annoying pretty fast. If you like the way Scott makes his films, then you should really like this one.
The acting was acting... Denzel Washington has played this role several times already. So it is nothing new or different for him. Nothing he does sticks out or makes you think “Wow! He is such a great actor!”. As for John Travolta as the leader of the bad guys, his acting style was just over the top and loud. He really got into it and was just having way too much fun playing his character. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it worked for the style of the film but it was very forced and unnatural. If you see the movie you know what i am talking about.
Like most of Tony Scott’s recent film’s ‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’ is rental material. It is just one of those films that is what it is. There is nothing really special or original about it. But if you do end up seeing it, let me know what you thought about it.