'Unstoppable' Review: Extremely Satisfying Thrill Ride
“Unstoppable” is an action movie that relies on the thrill of anticipation. It tells the story of an out-of-control. unmanned train carrying hazardous materials as it heads towards a major Pennsylvania city. Inspired by true events, this fast-paced thriller starring Chris Pine and Denzel Washington will keep audiences on the edge of their seats.
The story begins with Will (Pine) getting out of bed on what he believes is another average day. He’s been working as a train conductor for the past few months and he's adjusting to the position. He’s assigned to work alongside a longtime train operator named Frank (Denzel Washington), who questions Will's lack of experience.
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As they work together, these characters face personal distractions as Will tries to reconcile with his wife and Frank attempts to reconcile with his daughter. Neither of these men are perfect but both accept their own shortcomings. Pine and Washington do a great job in creating realistic characters who are soon put in an unimaginable situation.
At another Pennsylvania station, train operator Dewey (Ethan Suplee) attempts to move a large train from one track to another. While driving, the lazy employee has trouble deploying the brake so he stupidly jumps out of the cab and runs towards a manual switch that will stop the train. Before Dewey can reach the switch, the train races past him and down the track. Suddenly, the train is speeding down the track without an operator.
Several fellow employees try to stop the train using manual switches but are too late. The train is already speeding down the track. The automatic brake that should stop the train if the operator becomes incapacitated wasn't set correctly so there is no easy way to slow down the runaway engine. Containing hazardous materials, this train will keep going until someone manually stops it or it crashes. Eventually, Will and Frank discover the runaway train is headed towards them and work together to stop it.
Most of the film's action revolves around the attempts to stop the "unstoppable" train and the damage it causes. The story of the main characters is interspersed with news accounts. While the media watches, the train heads straight towards an elevated curve that would force it to make a sudden turn. With so many compartments, that curve could prove disastrous as the train would likely derail and cause massive damage to the surrounding area.
The action sequences are spread out in the story allowing audiences the chance to get to know the different characters. There are inevitably some stock characters who show up to play certain roles. There is a train executive who always makes the wrong decisions and a local supervisor who usually makes the right ones. However, those clichéd characters don’t take away from the two main characters, who are both well-written and well-developed.
Overall, “Unstoppable” is a really exciting and enjoyable movie. It features two strong lead performances from Pine and Washington. It is also full of tense and exciting action. If you’re looking for a good story and a fun time at the theater, “Unstoppable” shouldn’t be missed.