Prepare your body for fight or flight mode as you step into the movie hall for ‘Unstoppable’. The first half hour is deceivingly boring as they cover the formalities of family and work backgrounds, and the technicalities of working in Railways.
A dash of wit prevents slumber, as the egos of retiring engineer, Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) and a newly hired conductor, Will Colson (Chris Pine) clash. When calamity strikes due to complete ignorance and carelessness of an employee, ‘the runaway train’ ensures a speedy, uphill journey from there on.
Jolt number one: As a full-powered train, carrying highly dangerous goods gets away due to sheer stupidity, you are left baffled.
Jolt number two: The ENTIRE rescue operation starts from then on.
Derailing the train translates to approximately a $100m loss. So yardmaster Connie’s (Rosario Dawson) suggestion of doing so as the train crosses barren land is vetoed by higher authorities. However when their plan of getting someone on the train via helicopter fails, they rethink their veto.
Bad luck looms over the day as unnecessary accidents hamper all attempts to at least slow the train down. Leaving their egos behind, Frank and Will step up courageously to prevent a historical disaster and salvage the lives of their fellow citizens.
There are no major special effects, or fancy machinery. Just a train and two common men, and they have you biting your nails off. It’s a constant adrenaline rush and the second half just pulls you in. The camera work is brilliant and helps create the atmosphere. The train does get a bit too loud after a while but it would be quite pointless without the sound.
Washington is charismatic even as a railway employee and commenting on his performance would be close to an insult. Chris Pine downplays the ‘cute’ factor as he transforms into the rookie preoccupied by personal problems.
If you are having a low day, the adrenaline rush is a perfect kickstart.