Screen Gems Movie Reviews
with Kennie Bass. You'll find it First On Fox!

The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3 June 12, 2009
The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3
Studio: Columbia Pictures
Rating: R for violence and pervasive language.

Filling the roles so wonderfully portrayed in the original production by legendary actors Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw, Denzel Washington and John Travolta star in the new version of "The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3."

Washington is transit worker Walter Garber, who stumbles into a subway hostage-taking masterminded by Travolta's villain (Ryder).

The heavily-armed bad guys want a bunch a money in a very short period of time or hostages will start dying. That puts Garber in a difficult and potentially deadly situation. 19 innocent lives are on the line and it's up to him to save them.

Directed by action ace Tony Scott from a very good screenplay by Brian Helgeland, "The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3" is very tightly made and compelling film. Both of the lead actors are brilliant as they go through their game of cat-and-mouse. The story keeps building the tension as we're forced to figure out how Ryder and his gang intend to escape while Garber works to foil their plans.

As the finale nears the action does get a little over the top, which takes away from the effectiveness of the first two-thirds of the movie. But it's not enough to derail this story.

Very different in tone and look from the original, this "Pelham" remake is a good example of how today's filmmakers can take an idea more than thirty years old and update it into an enjoyable experience for today's audience.

On my rating scale, "The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3" earns a TRIPLE.

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