Denzel Washington and Chris Pine are an unlikely team in this action/thriller.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477080/


Acting Performances – 3/5

  • Outside of the three main actors, Denzel Washington (Frank), Chris Pine (Will), and Rosario Dawson (Connie), the supporting cast were second-class and didn’t fit into the movie very well.
  • The other actors were unable to either convey emotions without it feeling forced or they over-played their character so their actions/emotions felt unrealistic.
    • Denzel is the real star of the acting with smooth transitions between scenes and feelings, he never feels out of place.

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Dialogue – 4/5

  • It isn’t exceptional but it is all thought out and fits the movie well.
  • The difference in tone/vocabulary was good between characters. The executives of the train company and Connie used more sophisticated language than Frank. Considering their backgrounds, this difference makes sense.

Production/Digital Art/Direction – 4/5

  • The scenes were coherent and made sense but there were some inconsistencies that pulled back on the story overall.
    • Why the restraining order story? The story that is supposed to be a propellant for Chris Pine throughout the movie turns out to be a pointless story about his wife and a restraining order. It’s unnecessary and adds little to the movie.
    • Judd, the second train conductor, didn’t have to pull off the tracks into the siding. He could have kept going on the current path and although still risky, wouldn’t have resulted in an almost certain death. He being a “veteran” would have known this and realistically would have made a different decision.
  • I did appreciate the special effects in the movie and they felt very real.
    • I especially liked the two scenes where Judd’s derailed locomotive explodes and when the portable derailer is destroyed; they felt true to life.

Soundtrack – 3/5

  • Effectively adds context to the movie but is over-dramatic at times.
    • Does heighten the sense of extreme chaos that is present.
  • They also productively used the sounds of the movie, train rolling over tracks, sounds of the rail yard, to put you into the film.

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Movie Style – 4/5

  • Though a number of elements in the film aren’t necessary or slightly awkward, the film itself captures what an action/thriller should be.
  • Disregarding the side story with Will, the main storyline was good and stayed connected to the themes present in the movie.

Fun Factor – 3/5

  • The negatives in this movie are just enough to decrease the score to a 3. Although still exciting to watch, the experience is dampened by the supporting cast and a few other struggles.

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Random Comments (Potential Spoilers!)

  • Why are there 15 cop cars to escort Ned when he’s trying to catch up to the train? I think two or three would have sufficed.
  • How did Frank and Will catch up to the train? When Connie checks in with Frank, he says “doing about 60 miles per hour.” The runaway train speedometer read 70 or slightly over and unless the train speed somehow was varying, they never would have caught up to the runaway.
  • It’s a movie but the attempt to put the airmen on top of the train was poorly executed. If the train was under 40 mph, the target to allow the airmen to land, why would Judd have slammed the train again after the airmen landed?

Total Score – 21/30

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