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.
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
This urban crime drama is a diverting entry with plenty of action, tense moments and running dialogue to sustain interest for the duration of the film. The main plot is a hostage situation and a demand for an outrageous sum of money. Denzel Washington and John Travolta spar throughout the picture and play off each other very well. Denzel, as always, is great and Travolta makes a good heavy although some of his one-liners fall flat as he negotiates with Washington. There are several interesting scenes of the trains, subway stations, tunnels, track beds and elevated sequences where the action takes place. Some of the street-level scenes, involving taxi and police car stunts don't seem to be necessary. Cast and camera work are very nice.
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