Urine Couch AM Movie Club: Unstoppable

2010 train mayhem

Rating: 12/20

Plot: Earl's brother from the Hey! I'm Earl television sitcom screws up and loses his train, a locomotive hauling a few cars with some deadly-dangerous stuff that, if it spills off the track in some Pennsylvania town like they think it will, could potentially destroy the earth. Thank God for Denzel Washington, a train conducting veteran who, with the help of an arrogant young buck, is there to save the day.

This is the best tall tale that has both a black guy and something to do with trains since John Henry! I halfway enjoyed half of this movie. It's predictable as an action movie. There are also too many scenes with people doing work which reminded me that I was supposed to be doing work and nearly ruined the good time that I was having there on the Urine Couch with the late Gene Siskel. My mind started wandering a bit as jittery action sequences started bleeding into more jittery action sequences which bled into quiet reflective scenes where Denzel and the kid talk about their lives. I started wondering if I'd be able to take care of business if the motel started to move, gaining momentum as it merged with traffic on 465. Would I be able to stop the thing? And would some of our weekly guests be considered toxic? Like, if we tumbled off 465 into traffic on 65, would we explode in a cloud of cocaine and filth, forcing Indianapolis inhabitants to evacuate the city in a search for cleaner air? Regardless, I bet we'd make the news. We'll likely make the news soon enough anyway. Our rivals down the street did after their manager, another Indian guy, was beaten to death and thrown in a dumpster. I can definitely see that happening at my place. What are the chances of two Indiana Indian hotel managers being murdered within a couple weeks of each other? I hope angry customers don't try to beat me and throw me in a dumpster. Or if it happens, I hope Denzel Washington pops out and saves my life, all with really jerky editing and multiple camera angles showing him ripping stop signs from the concrete and swinging them at the bad guys. I love that in movies like Unstoppable, by the way. It's like the director Tony Scott said, "Look, everybody. I've done a lot of these action movies and wasted a whole bunch of planes when doing Top Gun because the cameraman's thumb was in the shot or the explosion didn't look explosiony enough or whatever. We've only got so many trains and cars, so we've got to make this count" and then set up about fifty cameras to shoot the same shot of a huge train crashing into some cars. Then, he looked at the footage and said, "You know what? This is all good! We can't waste any of this shiznit!" and decided to use it all. All the shiznit. Seeing the same train-crashing-into-car scenes from the same angle, sometimes in slow motion, adds about thirty minutes to the movie. Without those extra camera angles, you'd be forced to either tell this story in about sixty minutes or add a lot more scenes of Denzel and the kid talking about life. Anyway, a lot of cardboard to chew through with this one.


cory said...

This movie is one big, boring cliche. The characters are ones we've seen a thousand times, and this thriller is anything but thrilling. Seeing the train riding the rails over and over, accompanied by "train as a monster" sound effects gets really redundant. You have the cookie- cutter business-bad guys and the plucky rebelious insider who helps our heroes. Everyone is going through the silly action movie motions, and there is not a scrap of real emotion or excitement to be found. I would give it a 12, as well, but am knocking off a few points because the movie feels so calculated.

Kairow said...

Denzel Denzel-ed the $hit out of this movie.

I think 12 is fair. It was not bad, just cookie cutter.