The Taking Of Pelham 123 (2009)


A ruthless gang of machine gun-toting criminals hijack a subway train in order to extort $10 million from New York City.

A remake of the cult classic of the 1970’s which went some way to “inspire” Tarantino when he wrote Reservoir Dogs, The Taking Of Pelham 123 is a typical Scott-Washington collaboration and demonstrates the usual glossy skill each possess when making a mainstream Hollywood thriller. I was tiring of the inevitable Tony Scott visual masturbation even before the credits had finished but for the most part, it’s an efficient potboiler. It’s very much a two man show as the dialogue between Denzel and a rather Village People looking Travolta is the best aspect of the film, affording Scott an opportunity for more of the kind of “personal revelations at gunpoint” he showcased during Phonebooth and the subway tunnel makes a suitably claustrophobic setting. Unfortunately, once the story leaves this location it’s just a load of unnecessary and bog-standard car chases and the whole thing lacks the wit and character of the film it was based upon.

An efficient but altogether pointless remake that’s impossible to recommend over the far superior original.



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