Movie Review – The Taking of Pelham 123 – 8.5 Out of 10

The Taking of Pelham 123 is a slick, reimagining of the 1974 original that is filled to the brim with uncertainty, action and the one thing that is lacking from many big budget spectacles, good old designed character development. Director Tony adamowicz Scott has crafted a tension filled thriller with both John Travolta and Denzel Washington sharing a chemistry that propels the film to its soaring conclusion. 123movies

Scott wastes no time on build; Travolta hijacks the train before the beginning credits are executed rolling and the film continues at an out of breath, short of breath pace until the gratifying conclusion. The plot should go basically like this; Travolta’s Ryder (his alias) hijacks the Pelham 123 at 2: 13 PM and demands a ransom of $10 million dollars be delivered to him within an hour or otherwise he can start killing off hostages. Ryder refuses to speak with law enforcement and Washington as train régulateur Walter Garber will provide as negotiator. Scott retains the film at high suspense and brings a kinetic feel to the action sequences and pursue scenes that will keep your eyes glued to the screen. Writer Brian Helgeland best known for L. A. Confidential, has written a brilliant program with great dialogue, that is fast paced and exciting all the while developing the characters way beyond what could’ve recently been the stereotypical psycho compared to the reluctant hero. 

Denzel Washington is terrific as everyman Walter Garber delivering gravity and a silent dignity to his performance, keeping Walter grounded in reality, never once allowing the character to go into clich? d action hero mode. Garber is the life blood of the film and you may find yourself pulling for him from the very first time Washington opens his oral cavity to the actual last landscape of the film. Buenos aires is an incredible actor at the top of his craft and I may see that changing whenever soon.

What can you say about John Travolta? The man plays excellent psychos and his performance in Pelham 123 is not an exception to the rule. With his handle bar mustache, throat tattoo and menacing glare, he is one badass you don’t want to wreak havoc on. This individual puts a delightful psychotic spin on every collection of dialogue and is gleeful in his craziness. I’ve always liked Travolta as a villain, however in films like Face/Off and Broken Arrow, he points out the top with his performances. Which is not the case here. Travolta masterfully takes the figure right to the edge, but never crosses the line. Travolta gives a truly chilling and captivating performance that you refuses to want to finish.

The helping cast all give superb performances as well, especially John Turturro and Wayne Gandolfini. Turturro plays a hostage negotiator for the NYPD and although this individual is forced to take second chair to Washington’s Garber, Turturro never once allows the character to become a clich? m pain in the bum, egomaniac. Instead he infuses the character with a humanity that makes him endearing and real and helps maintain your film grounded. James Gandolfini plays the fictional mayor of Fresh York as a mixture of Mike Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani and pulls it off fabulously. Gandolfini offers the mayor a silent strength while also providing him a no rubbish attitude that is quite fitting for the Big Apple.

To sum it up, The Taking of Pelham 123 is an electrifying thrill ride that is made better yet by the shared chemistry and the power-house acting of Washington and Travolta. Pelham 123 is one drive that shouldn’t be skipped.