The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Reviews
An open-hydrant whoooosh of an action thriller about a hijacked NYC subway train with passengers held as hostages -- a caffeinated update of a 1974 city-on-fire cult classic that cracked wise with a cynical, now nostalgia-inducing, graffiti-era veracity.
Like most of Scott's recent films, this one ends in self-indulgent silliness. You end up asking yourself, how do the few fun bits of the film manage to survive in the midst of so much lousy filmmaking?
Denzel Washington is that valuable paradox, the relatable supernova. [But] it's too bad the movie around him isn't better -- the '74 edition, propelled by David Shire's incredibly badass theme music, kicks the remake's behind all the way to Coney Island.
Crisp supporting turns by John Turturro (as a hostage negotiator) and James Gandolfini (as the mayor) combine with plenty of vehicular mayhem to make this a superior diversion.
As Ryder's motives begin to reveal themselves, The Taking of Pelham 123 loses its aura of post-9/11 dread, replaced by a muddled commentary on Wall Street greed in these days of raging financial crises.