Unstoppable stars Denzel Washington and Chris Pine as train engineers in rural Pennsylvania. This film was directed and written by Tony Scott. The film revolves around two train engineers who have to chase after a runaway train. This runaway train has the possibility of crashing into a very highly populated area thus killing thousands of people. Unstoppable can be compared to the movie Speed, because the entire film relies on the fact that a hero or protagonist has to stop a vehicle that has no breaks from destroying a populated area where that protagonist’s family resides. Usually in these types of films, not only is the protagonist at risk of getting killed, but there are people watching as the situation gets worse and worse and not taking the opportunity to offer helpful suggestions on how to avert the crisis at hand.
This film is the cliché that most disaster films live by and that’s a problem. Nothing unique comes from a disaster film anymore. Modern disaster films rely more on the actual disaster than how characters think or feel throughout the disaster. This film suffers the same fate. The characters of the film are cookie cutter. Both of the lead actors in the film don’t feel realistic. I don’t for one second believe the story they are telling and that’s the major problem of the film. I think if the actors to their time learning about their characters, it would come across as more believable. I was never truly worried about whether they would survive the film. This film doesn’t work because the acting comes across as stiff. The one positive of the film is that the film’s director made sure to pay attention to the technical aspects of engineering in relation to trains. The attention to detail with the mechanical aspects of how a train operates is astounding and allowed me to understand how real and severe a crisis they were facing was. I think if the film had given the actors time to develop the character they played the film wouldn’t be so weak.
The only drama that takes place is between the train coordinator and the man behind the corporation about how to proceed with stopping the unmanned train. Even then those exchanges aren’t stimulating and need something to tonally match the pace of the film. The problem with this film is that although its well made, the only thing for the audience to invest in is a mechanical vehicle. This film is worth your time if you love trains and enjoy adrenaline fueled suspense.