Reviewed by Rosdaughr
The Taking of Pelham 123 is a remake of the 1974 suspense classic which was based on a 1973 novel by Jon Godey. This version stars two-time Academy Award® winner Denzel Washington (Best Actor: Training Day, 2001; Best Supporting Actor: Glory, 1989) teamed with John Turturro (Transformers, O Brother, Where Art Thou) in a battle of wills with John Travolta (Basic, Swordfish) and Luis Guzmán (War, Punch-Drunk Love).
This movie, while not the classic that the original was, is still heart-pounding and full of action and suspense. Travolta as criminal mastermind Ryder gives an outstanding performance as the devil’s advocate taunting you to detest him. However in typical Travolta fashion he comes off as generally believeable.
Denzel, as Garber, finds himself thrown into the middle of the explosive situation. He struggles to find a way to rescue all the hostages while making the decision of whether or not to let Ryder escape. Denzel, a personal favorite, gives us a poignant performance as sensitive, yet, geeky Garber. He has just the right mix of emotion, normal guy on the street and courageous hero to make him likeable.
I also enjoyed the Soprano’s James Gandolfino’s performance as the somewhat slimy mayor of New York.
Blu-ray and DVD Special Features Include:
- Commentary featuring Director Tony Scott, Writer Brian Helgeland, and Producer Todd Black
- “No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 1 2 3”
- “The Third Rail – The NYC Subway System”
- “Marketing Pelham”
- “From the Top Down: Stylizing Character”