UNSTOPPABLE (Tony Scott)
UNSTOPPABLE has that adrenaline rush-feel of "SPEED", but this time there is no maniacal terrorist; the antagonist is human error.
Denzel Washington is effective in roles such as this, a veteran railroader schooling the rookie Chris Pine. On the most unfortunate of days, an unmanned runaway train carrying highly toxic molten Phenol storms through town after town, and an impending crisis looms as such train is headed for a highly populated city, where derailment is not a possibility, but a guarantee.
Director Tony Scott, working with his favorite actor Denzel Washington grabs you by the throat for unrelenting 98 minutes. This is a movie where there are archetypal heroes, stereotype corporate A-holes, and a crisis that surrounds the story.
What makes UNSTOPPABLE work is the level of suspense it generates, and the knowledge that an inanimate object such as a train, can inflict so much disaster.
It is quite refreshing to see the filmmakers veer away from conspiracies, terrorist threats, or crime-related plots although its reference to true events may explain such direction.
As usual, Scott's films' are characterized by giddy camera shots and fast-paced editing from one frame and camera angle to another, and these techniques are similarly rendered in UNSTOPPABLE. This director knows how to generate a climax: I rose up my seat as the train made that dangerous turn in the Stanton Curve, the scene where the rear train cars rose midair.
The story is not unique, but it is decent enough. There is a subplot about how railroad men suck at family life, and you have to watch the sharp dialogue exchange between Pine and Washington. Denzel still got his mojo.