Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Pelham 123 and Its Predecessor
I saw The Taking of Pelham 123 today; I am a fan of the original 1974 movie (although I have never read the Morton Freedgood novel upon which THAT movie was based).
I admired the performances of Denzel Washington, John Travolta, John Turturro. They provided a great deal of believable characterization and intensity that gave the movie its suspenseful moments. I'm not convinced that the movie was an improvement on the original, and I think the problem that Hollywood sometimes has with this sort of re-make is that they feel they must throw all sorts of modernizations at an already good story. Weird camera angles, freeze frames, lots of loud annoying music in a downright distracting soundtrack.
I would love for a director to rediscover silence and its dramatic possibilities.
Still, it was an exciting movie, and if you don't mind an endless stream of F words and lots of blood, I'd recommend it.
However, I'm asking whoever is out there in Hollywoodland to consider removing these cliches from all future movies:
--unnecessary car crashes
--chase scenes in which no one can tell who is chasing, who is being chased, and who is in between
--dialogue that implies everyone in the world is profane
--the line "We've got company," used in any context
--casting women who look twenty to play the parts of women who are supposed to be forty-something
Okay, that's my mixed review of this summer remake. If you're a fan of any of the main characters, I think you'll like their performances in this suspenseful tale.