I can't recount how important every minute was for the movie "The taking of Pelham 123". All I can remember was that I didn't want to take a trip to the comfort room though I needed to go already. ;)
I'm not used to researching about a movie I'm about to watch, unlike my honey who frequently does so. I wanted to savor the unique, fresh experience for every movie without pegging an expectation of some sort. Usually, if the movie is wonderful and really intriguing, that's the time I read more about it.
[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="328"] The taking of Pelham 123[/caption]
Surely, by the time we saw this movie's trailer early this year, we've been intrigued and excited to see it. It was a surprise movie date that we had when we watched "The taking of Pelham 123" in SM City North Edsa. I'm a fan of both John Travolta and Denzel Washington from many of their different movies, like The Bone Collector, Man on Fire, The Siege, Be Cool, Hairspray, Face Off, Grease, and even in the personal favorite Swordfish. They have both been excellent actors in these famous and Hollywood and history marker movies. This one is definitely another one of the best!
Tony Scott, who also directed "Man on Fire" and the legendary "Grease", was the man behind making this movie a success. Finding inspiration in the Morton Freedgood (aka John Godey)'s novel "The taking of Pelham 123", he was able to surpass the 1974 version of "The taking of Pelham 123" by forming a powerful casting of characters.
Denzel played Walter Garber who was a train dispatcher who previously owned a chief position at the New York City Transit Authority. He got demoted because of an allegation on bribery. Travolta played the lead of the hijacking team.
From the start of the movie til the end, every detail counted. The execution of the hijacking plan was seamless, getting the really necessary people for the work was a key thing. Though the story diverged a bit from the original one (since it was originally written in 1973), scriptwriter Brian Helgeland and David Koepp (uncreditted) made it possible to put the story in modern situation of a post 9-11 world. They have already brought in the technologies of the current times including mobile phones, laptops, the internet, etc.
It was wonderful and really awesome that a lot of information has been told and imparted into the audience about the characters and their backgrounds in just about 2hours worth of movie. It was really amazing how it seemed to be easy enough to show how the two major characters Garber and Ryder could almost be similar to each other while playing hero vs villain in the movie. I have really been moved to understand more about all the characters in the movie while it griped me from my seat to see and hear what events could come about every minute of it.
From Garber, to Ryder, to members of the hijacking team, to the investigators, to the mayor, to Garber's wife, to the mayor's adviser, to the members of the hijacked team, and even to the ransom money delivery team, all of them were given a character. It was not just any character formation, but one that seems to be very fitting in a real life situation of a New York city plot.
The building of the characters made it easy for the story to unfold easily and make things more understandable and look more feasible. On top of these brilliant screenplay and tweaking of the original story, I'd say that the original source really had a sick yet very extraordinary mind to have thought of this story at all! We all know how New York or Manhattan seems to be the seat of all the horror/thrill movies that we see in Hollywood.. most of them now follow a dragging plot of hostage taking.. then pursuit.. then success. But for a change, I'd certainly commend this one to be most unique and wonderfully executed!
Taking place in one of the busiest cities of the world, and in one of the crowded places, the subway was perfect though an unexpected place to take a hostage. I wouldn't have thought of it myself! I could have eliminated the option of hostage taking inside a subway, thinking of it more like a dead-end where I could instantly be trapped and caught from the very beginning. It takes guts and shameless determinism to have executed this plan flawlessly. What really intrigued me was the real plan of Ryder to have himself locked up in jail longer than his sentence should be served just because he wanted to save up on expenses so that when he gets out, the amount of money he's invested on would have reached maturity already.
The whole experience of just sitting there, watching the movie, was one of the best experiences. Though it was quite stressful to be just waiting to see what comes about from the movie, it was very enjoyable, seeing how much professional acting was exhibitted by Denzel Washington and John Travolta in that movie. Everything seemed to be real because they made it look real.
I believe that this would be one of the best movies of all times that was inspired by written novels. Of course, though this movie has very much moved me and caught my awe and full attention, I did not miss the flaws. ;)
1. Failure in surveillance monitoring in the subway station. Ryder could've easily been caught at the time he stared at the surveillance camera before he hijacked the motorman of Pelham 123. During this time, security could have done something already.
2. Presence of wifi networks in subway station. Could this really be possible in New York City? I know, its definitely not possible here. LOL.
3. At the time of hijacking, a teenager was having a video call with his girlfriend. When the hijacking was in place and the network was restored, the session went back online. The call was on full screen, but none from the hijackers nor the other passengers noticed the open laptop displaying the video.
4. Though Ryder was connected to the internet and was monitoring the outside happening as well as the stock market, he was not able to find the streaming put online by the girlfriend of the hostage guy passenger.
5. The escape through an old hotel backdoor could have been anticipated if the Transit Authority explored all possible means of escape from the subway tunnel.
6. It was an easy escape by Garber, crossing the tracks while a train was in transit. I could have thought of Ryder not easily giving up Garber as a valuable part of his escape.
7. Ryder, could have escaped at the last part when Garber has found him walking away. It was a way too easy ending. I was left wondering what kind of a person could Ryder be walking away from a ten year plan.
So, hey, I've been writing this article interruptedly. Its already taking me an hour and 11 minutes and 50 seconds. If you're not convinced nor intrigued by this movie, go and see it yourself.. and check me!