Saturday, 27 November 2010

Unstoppable - Dir. Tony Scott

Tony Scott returns to the big screen with his fourth film in five years, and just like the previous three, 'Unstoppable' fits the mould as mediocre-fanfare that will casually keep your attention focused on-screen for an hour and a half. Frank (Denel Washington) is the twenty-eight year old railroad veteran who is placed together with newcomer Will (Chris Pine) for a day working on the tracks. However this is no ordinary day, after fellow railroad worker Dewey (Ethan Suplee) accidentally sends a train out on the main tracks unmanned, it is left to the master and his potential prodigy to overcome their differences and attempt to stop the train before it kills thousands in Stanton, Pennsylvania.

The film's premise is as silly as it sounds, but most importantly, it's just not that entertaining in general. It's only saving grace is the relationship between the veteran actor, and always reliable Denzel Washington and the relative new Star Trek prince, Chris Pine. The dialogue between these two characters is quick witted, funny, awkward, and incredibly natural, and their developing rapport keeps the film ticking over. Aside from Washington and Pine, Scott once again resorts to over-paced editing and desperately quick cuts, which make the film, feel more like a music video, than a motion picture. While the action itself, at the centre of the narrative, is constantly undermined by Scott's need to juxtapose the action of the train itself, with current live news reports from the outlets around the country which thoroughly detracts away from the audiences enjoyment of the film, as it removes any notion of surprise, or revelation as we constantly know where the train is heading, and when it will arrive at that location.

In 'Unstoppable,' everything is laid bare by Tony Scott in regards to the story, so the audience can refocus its attention towards the action shown on-screen, which is not only degrading to the spectators, but also a surprisingly backward step for a director who has yet to break the mould of mediocrity in more than eleven years. Despite attempts to create tension, suspense and an action-orientated picture, Scott instead has succeeded in creating a dull pseudo-documentary in a sense, on how the locomotive is still a powerful beast, that needs man's full attention.