Monday, November 15, 2010

Movie review: Unstoppable

Have you seen "Final Destination"? The original. Or even the second. No? Alright, I'll try to explain how the death scene played out. You know that the characters are gonna die. That's the point of the movie. So you'll see someone in a kitchen or bathroom and the camera gets you to start looking at all the ways the character could get killed. Water running across the floor, a knife holder sitting awkwardly, a radio with an exposed wire, etc. etc. Those scenes become tense because you're anticipating the disaster.

Now, take the tension of those kinds of scenes and stretch them out for a whole movie. You spend most of the movie watching things go wrong. You see much of it preparing to go wrong from way, way off. Then you sit there cringing waiting for it to happen. And it doesn't let up until right at the end.

In a typical disaster movie everything goes wrong early on and you spend the rest of the time watching people cope or escape. This is a different kind of disaster movie. Some moron at the train yard tries to cut some corners and they end up with an unmanned train moving under power. The disaster is what would come at the end of the movie if the heroes can't get it sorted.

The trailer tells you a good deal about the movie. A freight train full of toxic and flammable chemicals gets loose. Normally there are preventative measures, but human stupidity has disabled all of those. So it barrels along between 70 and 80 mph destroying everything in it's path. If it hits the sharp curve at the fuel oil depot at more than 20 mph there's gonna be a big badda-boom. There are a number of attempts to stop the train. And the ideas aren't bad, but their luck is. Until two train engineers, a master and his padawan, chase down the train.

This was a great movie. I recommend you go see it. I will be getting it on DVD.

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