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Why you should watch the film 'Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3'

Updated on June 1, 2011
The action packed film poster.
The action packed film poster.

Review:Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3

Establishing shots of New York, the first things that hit your eyes in this film ,with background music of Jay Z a New York rapper. There walks Ryder (John Travolta),everything in the background slow-motion except him,close ups of his face showing he’s the mysterious ‘hardcore’ criminal.  


You couldn't tell much about the film from it’s opening scene, other than it’s your typical ‘fast pass’ action thriller,but really there’s quite a bit more to this film than you might expect. Considering too many remakes of classic films have been complete wreck, this remake of the 1974 (based on the novel by John Godey) classic ‘Taking of the Pelham 1 2 3’ might come of a surprise to you. The starring cast involve John Travolta and Denzel Washington (Walter Garber) , who happen to be both involved straight away in first scene.

Walter Garber, a Transit Authority official who is demoted to dispatcher after being accused of taking bribes. He is on duty when a New York City subway train is hijacked. Although this isn't out of the norm character for Washington he plays Garber’s role very well, showing the stress of his issue but also some very witty one liners to give the film a hint of humour. Unlike the original he also has an intriguing back story that helps develop his character and the viewers feelings and understanding of Garber.

Ryder, the lead hijacker, demands $10 million from city coffers in exchange for the release of 18 subway passengers. The rate in inflation is also reflected, as in the 1974 version it was just $1 million. Ryder has also concocted a complicated stock scheme to gain him millions. Travolta plays the character Ryder very professionally, clearly seeing he was committed to the role and certainly did not let the role down.

Most of the film is made up of the ‘psycho train hijacker’ and the ‘the normal train dispatcher’ over the communication system in which you find more about Ryder and his past to lead up to this event, with also Ryder having ‘strong words’ over the communication system to Phil Ramos (Luis Guzman). With all this suspense it can’t help but also bring one of many different car and bike crashes (stunts) to make you think “will the money arrive on time?”

This film overall seems a big step up from the original film, bringing it into the modern generation exceptionally well. Unfortunately before you watch this film, you might want to pay attention to the warning ‘contains strong language’ on the back of the DVD case, as it’s not weary of using the f word, but it’s not really a downer because once you get over that it all enhances and adds the effect to the film. At times it can also seem very unoriginal , until you see the end which is very implausible.
But don’t let that downer completely put you off as this is defiantly a film to see just not a 10/10 but one to put on your list if you like this certain genre.
The ‘new Pelham’ takes the chilling original premise and modifies it for an era steeped in technology, making for an energetic and engrossing adaptation.
8/10

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Denzel Washington plays Walter Garber a New York Transit Authority official, who is demoted to dispatcher due to being accused of taking bribes.Quite a different role for John Travolta playing a New York criminal, Ryder.Denzel Washington (left) and John Travolta (right) The action packed film poster.
Denzel Washington plays Walter Garber a New York Transit Authority official, who is demoted to dispatcher due to being accused of taking bribes.
Denzel Washington plays Walter Garber a New York Transit Authority official, who is demoted to dispatcher due to being accused of taking bribes.
Quite a different role for John Travolta playing a New York criminal, Ryder.
Quite a different role for John Travolta playing a New York criminal, Ryder.
Denzel Washington (left) and John Travolta (right)
Denzel Washington (left) and John Travolta (right)
The action packed film poster.
The action packed film poster.

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    • marstoblog profile imageAUTHOR

      marstoblog 

      6 years ago from Hitchin, England

      Thank you very much zerbini87 for your comment, I'm glad you found it informative and I agree Denzel is one of my favorite actors as well, with this being a great movie he's done! thanks for posotive feedback.

    • profile image

      zerbini87 

      6 years ago

      Very well-written and informative. I love Denzel Washington, one of my favorite actors. Voted up and useful! Keep up the good work1

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 

      7 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      You've done a great job comparing the original movie to the new release and the two actors are among my favorites. Thanks for the review and peek at this film.

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