Movie Review: Unstoppable (2010)

November 18, 2010 in Movie Reviews by pacejmiller

I had no idea what Unstoppable was about when I went to see it.  My mother told me it had Denzel Washington and the guy from Star Trek (Chris Pine) and that it was good — and I took her word for it.

Well, my mother told me the truth, because Unstoppable was awesome.

When I heard that it was called Unstoppable and that it had Denzel in it, I imagined a sequel to Man on Fire and that Denzel would be, um, “unstoppable” in it.  But when the film started and I saw that it was about trains, I almost yawned, fearing that I would get something closer to The Taking of Pelham 123 (please, no more!).

Fortunately, Unstoppable was nothing like either film.  “Unstoppable” is a reference to a runaway train, and Denzel and Chris Pine are the two ordinary railway workers who are caught up in the mayhem.  It also has a very “regular” looking Rosario Dawson and a dickish Kevin Dunn (the dad from the Transformers movies), and is directed by Tony Scott, who, coincidentally, directed both Man on Fire and The Taking of Pelham 123.

I don’t want to give away too much, but what I will say is that Unstoppable is probably the best Tony Scott film since Enemy of the State.  It’s extremely solid from a technical perspective, with a strong plot anchored by its two likable stars, seamless special effects and an unlikely sense of realism for a popcorn movie.

But what I loved most about it was the the pace, which is absolutely frenetic.  After an initial build-up, the film races along at break-neck speed right down to the very end, with one nerve-wracking event after another.  Just when you thought things would be okay, another incident comes and “derails” (pardon the pun) everything.

Of course, not everything will make perfect sense because otherwise the film won’t be quite as exciting — but I can live with that.  As far as action movies go, Unstoppable is definitely one of the better ones you can see this year.

4 stars out of 5!