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Taking of Pelham 123 [USER REVIEW] [User Review]


“The Taking of Pelham 123” is trying to be cool. Note the key word: trying. Similar movies were cool. “Ransom” for instance, directed by Ron Howard, was one of them. The tense hostage/kidnap situation offered intriguing power shifting between two clever and complex minds. Earlier “Negotiator” and later “Inside Man” are good examples of this, too.

While Tony Scott tried hard, “The Taking of Pelham 123” failed to be one of those “cool” movies.

A good piece of steak has three vital components: presentation texture, and seasoning. “The Taking of Pelham 123” is trying to be a good piece of steak. Scott throws in plenty of salad and chips for the movie. Problem? It’s too much. We have color. We have shots-swap-fade. We have shake cameras. We have 360-degree turning cameras. We have MTV type of editing. These successfully claimed techniques have worked before, but when put together by dear Tony, it’s too much. I want to have a steak dinner. Where is my steak? I have enough confusion finding it, and it looks oddly unattractive because too much style gets in the way.

Sitting through the movie I was thinking, "This is totally unnecessary.” When I order a steak I want to see a steak. When I buy a ticket I want to see a movie. I want to see the action, acting, plot-line, I want to follow the flow and be stunned and surprised. I want to see what is going on. If the 360-degree camera turn makes me dizzy, then it is a bad call. When two characters are fighting or a man is running, there is no need to shake the camera. What is the point of shaking the camera when the actor is driving?

“The Taking of Pelham 123” is loaded with plot holes. GPS in the ransom money bag, anyone? SWAT sniper discharge shot because a rat is biting on his balls? Where is the real stuff?

The answer, there is no real stuff. Bandits kidnapped a subway train demanding $10M ransom. The head of the bad guys insists in talking to the railway operator instead of to a cop. They will (and did) kill hostages if demand is not met. They escaped the train after getting the money, and are killed when making their way back into streets. Have you had a piece of steak that taste lacks salt, and has the gravy run out halfway through your steak? And did I mention the gravy was made from the lazy instant powder mix?

Last night I thought I could have a decent steak meal. The names and the stylish trailer lured me, but my meal looked messy, taste rough and tasteless. Gee, my potato crisps and Coke tasted better.



Source of the Bitter: Que

Comments, rants and other stuffs below
JAS on Fri, 09/04/2009 - 10:14am

Good job on this review! I love the comparisons that you make.

I liked the original version of this film. It was a solid 70's crime piece, but once I saw how tough Travolta looked and how much of a sissy he sounded like I opted out of watching this crap. That and Tony Scott really blows. What happened to the style he used to shoot movies in like True Romance?

Que on Sat, 09/05/2009 - 2:19pm

It is good to see Tony at age of 65 still try something new and mainstream. He made some interesting ones like 'Man on fire' and a few others, nothing would make to my top 10 but still good sit through, but he also made 'Deja Vu' and a few others, to which I'd just say, what was he thinking?

Tony has good instint with colors and pace, but bad eye for story plot and twist. His picking of the actors are madly confusing. He'd make a good sushi chef and some awesome MTVs.

havn't seen 'True Romance' yet, guess I have some catch up to do.

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