The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3

Noisy retooling of the 1970s’ heist classic with Denzel Washington and John Travolta

Trending Now

Send us your questions for Peter Murphy

The Bauhaus frontman will field your enquiries in a future issue of Uncut

Introducing the new issue of Uncut

GETTING YOUR COPY OF THIS MONTH'S UNCUT DELIVERED STRAIGHT TO YOUR DOOR IS EASY AND HASSLE FREE - CLICK...

The 3rd Uncut New Music Playlist Of 2021

Ryley Walker, Rose City Band, Hand Habits, Esther Rose, Richard Barbieri and more

Introducing the Deluxe Ultimate Music Guide to Bob Marley

In-depths reviews and archive encounters with the reggae legend

FILM REVIEW: THE TAKING OF PELHAM 1 2 3
Directed by Tony Scott
Starring Denzel Washington, John Travolta, James Gandolfini, John Turturro


***

Quentin Tarantino borrowed the idea of colour-coded criminals from Joseph Sargent’s 1974 original, which starred Walter Matthau as a crumpled Transit Authority cop facing the hijack of a New York subway train by an argumentative gang of half-competent crooks. Tony Scott’s remake has more energy and less charm, while also being infected with the Tarantino virus, via the casting of John Travolta as the moustachioed hijacker, duelling with Denzel Washington’s train controller.

Washington is predictably excellent, but Travolta has trouble balancing his character’s psychosis with his urge to play for laughs. Scott’s direction of the action is typically energetic, with car crashes, balletic shoot-outs, and a 24-ish race against the clock played out to a thumping beat. The film thrills like a super-saturated fairground ride, but Scott ducks the question of post -9/11 terror, and fails to deliver on a metaphorical level.

ALASTAIR McKAY

Advertisement

Latest Issue

The Who, New York Dolls, Fugazi, Peggy Seeger, Scritti Politti, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Serge Gainsbourg, Israel Nash and Valerie June
Advertisement

Features

Advertisement