Imagine a high-octane action film about a train with broken brakes going full-speed with a few cars worth of explosives on it. Now imagine that two men are the only hope for stopping this impending disaster. Now if, in your mind, this film contains explosions aplenty, a high adrenaline score, and Denzel Washington and Chris Pine racing against time, then you pretty much have a grasp of what 'Unstoppable' is about. And if this description excites you at all, chances are you're going to love the film as much as I did.
The actioner, directed by action maestro Tony Scott, is many things, including cliche. In fact, it sparks a huge resemblance to the last film he directed, called The Taking Of Pelham 123. That film was a thriller about a man (John Travolta) who hijacks a train, and the dispatcher, also played by Washington, who tries to stop him. The resemblances between the films are striking, but in all the ways Pelham 123 fails, Unstoppable succeeds with flying colours.
Unstoppable is a film that definitely won't be winning any awards, but for what it is, it sure delivers. It's loud, full of action sequences and climactic speeches. The film is one of the greatest action films in a long time, simply because it doesn't take itself too seriously. However, the top-notch stars just put the film at an above-par level. Washington, who has been disappointing since his Oscar-winning performance in Training Day, looks like he's having a lot of fun. Relative newcomer Chris Pine has a commanding screen presence that cannot be ignored, and the way the leads work off each other is admirable.
When you sit down to watch Unstoppable, you need to know that you're looking at a movie intended to be mindless fun for the masses. However, the pure entertainment level of the film is enough for me to put it as one of my favorites of the year. You cannot put a film like indie Oscar favourite The Kids Are All Right alongside Unstoppable and compare them, because they are neither for the same audience or reaching for the same things. Unstoppable is not an Oscar-bait film, but it sure as hell is a lot of fun, and in the end, that's all it needed to be.