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Unstoppable

Year: 2010
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Director: Tony Scott
Producer: Tony Scott
Writer: Mark Bomback
Cast: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Dunn, T J Miller

Watching this made me feel the way Alice in Wonderland had. You have an actor and a director who are way too comfortable with each other and are starting to churn out the same stuff over and over again. The director himself is so familiar with his own tropes (helicopters flying past in that alternate fast/slo-mo he loves so much) it's getting boring. He has yet another high concept plot sizzled on machismo and no idea where to go when the action is over.

The most telling sequence is in the last 30 seconds during the victorious rally saluting the heroes' success (oh come on, are you really going to tell me that's a spoiler?) Stars Washington, Pine and Dawson, along with director Scott and writer Mark Bombak try to do something (anything) with the heroes-get-to-go-home-to-their-families moment and flounder badly like beached fish. It'll make you realise the movie has actually packed up and gone home without you realising.

Ironically for a Tony Scott movie full of clanking industrial machinery and working class heroism it finishes on a curiously quiet note. As control-room manager Connie (Dawson) says when she delivers the movie's USP, it's not a train, it's a missile as long as the Chrysler building.

The out of control train is has several carriages carrying disastrously flammable chemicals, and the job of father/son-dynamic railyard workers Frank (Washington) and Will (Pine) is to chase it down in their carriage and try to stop it. And even with so much potential destruction at his fingertips Scott resisted having it career off the tracks into a petrol refinery or off a pier into a ship carrying TNT. As the tagline says, it's based on a true story, but really Tony – a tense climax involving train slowing down to a stop? Are you getting old or something?

The premise is all you need to know about the plot, and the hard luck backstories of both men pad out the downtime between scenes of mecha-porn that would rival Michael Bay on a quiet day.

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