If you saw the trailer, it’s all there. A action/suspense movie that shows itself to be that and nothing more. This isn’t a fault of the movie because it never said it would be anything else. When I saw the trailer, I thought there’d be more to why the train is out of control, like terrorism or aliens or ghosts, but no, it’s none of that. A worker botched up a simple job and the results are a disaster.
Writing about the movie the next day makes me wonder why it was so good. It had all the elements of a suspense movie, more of the disaster kind though on a smaller scale than a volcano or a tidal wave, or even the end of the world. But isn’t it nice to see a movie that buys into the thought that to make bigger and louder and more dramatic moves means a better movie. Anyone who has written or read a story that tries to be larger than it actually is knows that the story is the disaster, not whatever wreck they dramatize within it.
It’s an out of control train that the company is trying to stop. Two men with lives and all the good and bad that comes with that step in to halt the train. Sentiment is there, they have families, they have their own back stories, it works. We smile, we sit on the edge of our seats, we sigh in relief, it’s a disaster movie. It works. Tony Scott did a good job with it.
Denzel Washington. He does what Denzel has done in the dozen other movies he’s been in. I know he’s a great actor and he plays that character well, but I’m beginning to wonder if he’s niched himself into the same person in every movie he plays, only with slight differences due to setting and situation.
Also, I found it encouraging to see a character who wears mostly denim, those yellow sunglasses people wear at shooting ranges, drives a large red truck, and jabbers with a mild southern accent about military strategy to a waitress in a diner who doesn’t care at all about what he’s saying. What’s remarkable about this character is that he isn’t portrayed as a bumbling idiot who never got through middle school. If you couldn’t tell from my description of him, he’s what we in Louisiana would call a redneck. Usually if there’s one of these in a movie, he wants to rape another man or shoot him, or both. But hey, he doesn’t do either. He helps stop the train. And he isn’t bad at it either. His truck comes into play too. Look at that. The rednecks of the world can make a positive contribution.