‘Unstoppable’ is the story of two men played very well by Denzel Washington and Chris Pine who are trying to stop a runaway train filled with toxic chemicals before it smashes into a town. The film is loosely based on a true story from Ohio. I say loosely because I think the real life train was going about 60 mph and was filled with teddy bears, while in this film the train seems like it was shot out of a NASA rocket and is filled with nuclear weapons or something crazy.
I really can’t stand loud noises or jarring movements during movies, so I spent most of this one puking in my popcorn box. But in between hurls, I got to thinking. Have train companies learned nothing from rock music? How many countless times has Aerosmith opened their shows warning us that when the train gets rollin’, it’s gonna roll all night long? Grateful Dead have a train in nearly every song, the one with the crazy conductor Casey Jones comes to mind. Look, he’s driving that train high on cocaine, HE’S NOT GOING TO WATCH HIS SPEED NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU TELL HIM!
As residents of D.C., we can see ‘Unstoppable’ played out once a month at the rate our metro trains crash into each other. Those conductors are usually texting, but I imagine they are also probably high on cocaine as well. Since I don’t fly, I take the train all around the country. And I can tell you this. The problem with trains is not excessive speed, the problem is that once they cross the Mason-Dixon line, they slow down to about 10 mph then come to a complete halt every half mile. And they still manage to fall off the tracks.
Washington and Pine are very good in this film, but as films like this tend to be, the real star is the crazy train. Oh, that’s another one, Crazy Train! I think I’m going to send a mix tape to the head of every railroad in the country. Actually, I don’t think people make mix tapes anymore. OK, Washington is great, but it seems to me that he is one of the finest actors around and I question why he would do this type of movie, especially on the heels of that metro train movie he did with John Travolta.
If you are into these movies with runaway trains, asteroid, lizards, etc. then go see this movie because I do think it delivers to audiences who enjoy high adrenaline films. Therefore, I recommend it to that crowd. That said, I want to say one more thing about this film. If I am ever in a life-threatening situation on a train with someone, and they start talking about their family or their regrets or any other stuff like that, I will throw them off the train. I’m trying to figure out a way out of this mess, I’m not your shrink, and I don’t need to hear this right now!
‘Unstoppable’ is now playing at Regal Gallery Place in Chinatown.