Unstoppable (2010)

dir. Tony Scott

If it weren’t for the fact that it genuinely did happen in real life, this story of two men chasing down a runaway freight train full of toxic chemicals would be too absurd to take seriously. Credit where it’s due, the core story is told pretty faithfully, and it’s a pretty remarkable tale of bravery conquering ineptitude and unfortunate circumstance. However, reluctant to let the story speak for itself, Unstoppable really lays on the melodrama thick. Our two heroes have to wax lyrical about the woes and tribulations of their lives, to really hit home how determined and courageous they are. Every single character is painted as either good or bad, competent or useless, eager to save lives or eager to save profits – there is no room for any nuance in this film. Most of all, the direction and editing of Unstoppable are absolutely obnoxious. Not a single shot lasts for more than five seconds; jerky zooms and panning create the illusion that nothing pauses for a mere moment. This would make more sense if limited to the action scenes chasing the train, but quiet conversations in rooms and even the simple act of a man getting off a sofa are subjected to abrupt cuts and wild camera work. Unstoppable may have been a decent film if it bothered to, just occasionally, stop.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: