Taking of Pelham 1,2,3… : ActedBy | The First Hollywood Video Magazine created by artists. How to become an actor, and work as an actor in Hollywood. Hollywood News, and movie technology.


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Taking of Pelham 1,2,3…

You ever see John Travolta get mad? Well…here’s your chance. The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3, was my latest DVD find. By find, I mean I really had to go the bathroom and I just grabbed the coolest looking DVD on the new release shelf. It had Denzel Washington in it, he was really good in Training Day. Hey, what did I have to lose?

Apparently, about an hour and a half of my time…

The story unfolds with four guys hijacking a subway train in Manhattan, led by a simple man of simple needs. Ryder (John Travolta) demands $10 million within an hour, or he’ll start shooting hostages. A plot we’ve rarely seen before– this time it’s on a TRAIN! He’ll deal only with Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) the head of dispatch for the MTA. New York City Mayor (James Gandolfini) gives the green-light for the payoff. As the news hits the wires, the stock market begins tumbling, and before the movie even has a chance to get us enticed with any sort of suspense, we see the events unfold as if we’ve already seen the film before.

The film fires out of the gates like most action films: It combines a rapid score, with even faster cinematography and edgy special effects. It tries to speed up the plot of the film using the camera and the effects, rather than using a deft story line or believable characters. Most action films can get away with this because the characters have something that makes us root for them, or at least engage us with some endearing qualities. Ryder, comes across as a guy that is angry and cusses a lot. Garber is a man that can’t seem to catch a break, and is being put into a tough situation by a man that knows the truth about his history. Even a great performance by Washington can’t salvage a character as plain as Garber. Travolta never gets a chance to ground his character in any sort of reality,  basically coming across as an angry guy with an untold history we end up not caring too much about. The film drags for an hour and a half and doesn’t serve much purpose outside of the fact we get to watch two of our favorite actors perform on the same screen.

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