Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
After a ferry is bombed in New Orleans, an A.T.F. agent joins a unique investigation using experimental surveillance technology to find the bomber, but soon finds himself becoming obsessed with one of the victims.
In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he'll start shooting hostages. He'll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it's unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this? Written by
Ryder in the book is a methodical criminal mastermind, like Robert Shaw in the original film, but not like John Travolta who has a hair trigger temper. See more »
When Garber is instructed by Lt. Staley in the use of the Walther PPK .380 he is told that the safety is on when the lever is up and off when it is down. This is the opposite of the safety's actual operation. When the lever is up, exposing a red dot, the safety is off. When down it is in the SAFE position. See more »
Garber! When you put your socks on this morning, did you ever think...? Turn around, let them frisk you. I was worried about you... I thought maybe you'd get lost but then I remembered you were a motorman, so... these tunnels don't change much, do they?
Just the people in 'em.
See more »
The film starts with the picture way in the distance and it slowly approaches, making it appear as if the audience is in a subway tunnel. See more »
The original "The Taking of Pelham One Two Three" (1974) starring Robert Shaw and Walter Matthau is a classic. Tony Scott's remake, "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" (2009) is not.
This remake begins with what has become the obtrusive and defining style of Tony Scott's recent pictures.
Frenetic editing, sudden wipes, stuttering frames, rapid focus-pulls, repetitive zooms and ear piercing sound design to punctuate every moment. This style soon becomes sickening and you wish for a moment a shot would simply hold for more than 3 seconds without constant self-conscious cinematic gimmicks.
This arranged marriage of production effects even made me laugh out loud when during a helicopter shot of the New York skyline, the sun disappears behind some sky scrappers and each time it does you get a "whoosh" sound followed by a train "beeep"!
Soon after this nauseous beginning, a simple edit of Denzel Washington sitting at his desk is badly botched when a mid-shot cuts to a close-up and he is looking and sitting in a completely different position!
On top of these shallow post production and in-camera effects, the core of the original has been dumbed down with a profane and ranting script. The joy of the original ending has gone to be replaced by guns, ranting, salutes and machismo.
Gone is the tension and excitement of the original. Gone is the subtlety of performance. Gone is the humour. In fact everything that made the original great has been wiped clean from this horrendous exercise in style over content.
The wife asks for a gallon of milk (a ridiculous scene) and I am sure you would have a better time trying to drink that gallon of milk in one go than suffer this atrocious attempt at film-making.
Tony Scott is less talented than his brother but still showed promise with his early work. If he continues down this route of brain damaged film-making, I will avoid his pictures as I do those of Michael Bay and Ron Howard.
91 of 164 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?