A runaway train heading at 70 miles per hour to a town with an elevated rail that has a curve with no one onboard to stop the inevitable disaster, unstoppable is truly an apt name for this film.
Film making 18/25
Bonus Features 15/25
Tony Scott brings the real life incident of a train without anyone on board carrying dangerous chemicals running headlong into a well-populated Pennsylvania town. The curve is on an elevated rail and the maximum speed recommended is about 15 miles per hour but the train is rushing along at 70 plus miles per hour.
Denzel Washington plays the soon to be laid off veteran engineer Frank Barnes and Chris Pine plays conductor-in-training Wil Colson. They are delivering some cars while in their home yard a careless worker jumps from another train in order to operate the upcoming switch.
The cars behind the engine do not have their air brakes connected so when the worker jumps from the train and the throttle slips in drive there is no way for the train to stop. Usually with the air brakes attached the train will stop when air leaks from the system but the air brake lines are not connected.
The train now under power and with its engine brakes off careens out of the yard and toward that elevated track in Stanton. Connie Hooper, yardmaster, played by Rosario Dawson starts to coordinate attempts to stop the train along with evacuation proceedings of towns along the trains route.
The corporate office wants to use a two engine train to slow the runaway while an ex-marine firefighter flies in on a cable from a helicopter to land on the engine of the runaway. When the bumping train causes the potential hero to get pushed into the windshield of the second engine he is knocked unconscious.
The corporate big wigs plan ends in a fireball as the two engine train that tried to slow the runaway is knocked off the tracks and bursts into flames. The main problem with stopping or even slowing the runaway train from the front is that there are millions of tons of weight moving under power which is a lot of potential energy.
The next attempt is with a derailing device which they want to use to tip the train over but when the train’s wheels hit the device they explode the derailleurs into tiny pieces. The town the train is rushing through as they try to derail it is not even fully evacuated and cops along with firefighters are watching as the train breezes through the attempt.
The two heroes catch up to the train and in a hair raising, wheel raising from the tracks, moment they keep the train from crashing through Stanton and the nearby fuel tanks. I had a few problems with moments just like the train careening around the corner, wheels off the tracks on one side right next to a dozen fuel tanks.
Who puts fuel tanks, those large ones storing millions of gallons of explosive fuel right next to a track line, an elevated one no less. The same can be said for the supposed evacuation of the towns and the derailing scene where the train crashes through the derailleur with cops, firefighters and others still in the area.
They are trying to derail the train and cause a potential fireball from the molten highly flammable phenol onboard the eight train cars. Police and firefighters are still there right on top of the train they are trying to tip over to get it to stop.
It’s obvious scenes like this that are supposed to add drama and tension to a movie that instead make an overall less interesting film because of its obvious unbelievable plot or events. I liked the story and the plot just races along just as the train does but when main scenes have glaring errors it makes the film less enjoyable.
I liked the movie and only downgraded it a little as the actors and general direction and producing was very good, Denzel Washington and Chris Pine are very good in their parts. Unstoppable is a great movie overall on Blu-ray but could have been a little better with a bit better writing but as it stands this is more of a rental for me.
Video and audio are the above average Blu-ray quality you would expect from a current film with great video, nice color and well done audio. I really have no problems with the quality of the film and even with the lack of an overall excellent plot the film is good enough.
Unstoppable is based on a true story about a runaway train therefore press coverage, after action reports and all kinds of stuff would have been available but they left out a good portion of this as bonus content. I feel they could have easily doubled what was here in bonus content but all we get is the usual audio commentary, making of features and talks with cast and crew.
Unstoppable is a great film and the Blu-ray edition is well worth a rental but making this a collection of your media library may not be a wise choice.