Denzel Washington (left) and Chris Pine spend most of their time blabbing in the supposed action pic Unstoppable.
UNSTOPPABLE (Tony Scott). 98 minutes. Opens Friday (November 12). For venues, trailers and times, see Movies. Rating: NN
I honestly don't know why Denzel Washington keeps working with Tony Scott. Scott has a way of deadening Washington's formidable charisma, and he doesn't exactly offer him memorable roles. He doesn't call the actor on that tic of his where he mumble-repeats the last few words of a sentence for extra gravity, either.
Then again, maybe Washington likes taking it easy once in a while. Certainly, Unstoppable asks little of him. He spends the bulk of the picture sitting down, arguing with Chris Pine about sacrifice and family while the two of them chase a runaway train loaded with toxic, combustible chemicals.
Right - the train. Big sucker. And thanks to the magic of workplace negligence, it's speeding out of control toward a trestle over which it will surely plunge, its volatile cargo crashing down into the large silos of fuel oil sitting beneath, located smack in the middle of a city of tens of thousands of people. Only Washington and Pine have a chance of catching it in time.
Kind of a ridiculous premise, actually, but Unstoppable opens by telling us that its story is inspired by true events (in that there are trains, and they run on tracks, I suppose).
The movie has a certain momentum - I'll give it that, but it's no fun at all. Scott plays the whole thing straight, resulting in a fast-moving but disappointingly serious disaster picture. The train growls when it zooms past the camera, which gives us hope that proper hysteria could break out at any moment. But it never does. It never does.