Director: Tony Scott
The latest film from action film guru Tony Scott is a curious affair. Based on a true story, the film lacks the evil villains that Scott loves to pit against his brave superheroes. Yet, despite its unconventional origins, he still manages to craft an exciting tale of ordinary men in extraordinary situations.
Fresh faced Will Colson (Chris Pine who – after his lead role in Star Trek – is gradually becoming a major Hollywood player) teams up with the veteran railroad worker Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) on what seems like an ordinary day. Their task is to move a train from one yard to the other, an event that reveals some tensions between the youngster and the more experienced Barnes. But when it becomes apparent that a runaway train is heading towards them – and a hugely populated area – they resolve to stop a potential tragedy.
As always Scott provides some extremely impressive action sequences, made even more remarkable by the fact that the premise of the film would seem to preclude that (after all, it’s a runaway train – it’s not as if it can go anywhere). The action sequences are juxtaposed with tense glimpses behind the scenes as the railway company and the track controller attempt to find the best way in which to stop the deadly locomotive.
Washington and Pine do well and have a nice sense of chemistry whilst Rosaio Dawson, playing the beleaguered track controller, brings a feisty female presence to proceedings.
Some of Hollywood cliches are piled on thick and fast and are in danger of getting a bit overwhelming, but Scott manages to avoid them derailing the film. Its unique premise makes it slightly different from the usual Hollywood actioner and – as such – it makes for an entertaining and tense thrill ride
Now showing in all three countries.