Saturday, June 20, 2009


Review by Matt Piccirillo
Running time: 106 minutes
Rated R
Film Opens June 12, 2009

Matt’s Score: 8 popcorn buckets out of 10

If you are questioning yourself whether or not to see the PELHAM 1 2 3 because it looks like just another hostage film, I encourage you to take Pelham 1 2 3 for a ride because it is the most suspenseful action movie of the summer so far.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3, the new Tony Scott film which stars Oscar winner Denzel Washington and John Travolta is my pick of the week. The film is based on the novel by John Godey. It is also a remake to the 1974 version called THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. In case you were wondering, PELHAM 1 2 3 is the title because it is a subway that departed from Pelham Bay at 1:23.

After a slow opening, Scott comes back to deliver plenty of suspense building up to PELHAM 1 2 3’s final turn. Scott effectively uses good visual effects and cinematography supported by the strong screenplay written by Brian Helgeland. And by the way, Washington and Travolta are fun to watch as well.

Washington plays Walter Garber who works as a dispatcher at Rail Control Center in New York City while Travolta plays Ryder, a smart hijacking criminal who takes over PELHAM 1 2 3. Washington and Travolta share some entertaining scenes together even though they are rarely in a single frame at the same time. Most of the time you are watching engaging conversations from Garber who is at his desk at the Rail Control Center and Ryder who is at his spot aboard PELHAM 1 2 3.

Sure the story has been done several times, but Scott makes it work. The movie is entertaining and fun. It even brings out some laughs with some quirky one-liners by both Washington and Travolta.

THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3 is the one to see one, two, or even three times. So, don’t let it pass you by. I predict PELHAM 1 2 3 will crash the box office and haul away more than $100 million by the time it makes its last stop.– Matthew Piccirillo

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