A Review of the Movie Unstoppable
By Steven Zapel
Get your popcorn, candy and soda ready, because you are not going to want to leave your seat once the movie starts. In this fast-paced action thriller, director Tony Scott gives audiences a story about a runaway train carrying toxic chemicals and gaining speed, headed towards an un-expecting rural Pennsylvania town: a perfect recipe for disaster.
Based on a true story, Unstoppable—a 20th Century Fox production starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pine and Rosario Dawson—pits two train conductors in a race against time to stop a runaway train before it derails and unleashes toxic chemicals on the town of Stanton, PA.
After two low-level train yard employees of the Alleghany and West Virginia Railroad Company (AWVR) manage to lose control of a ½-mile long train— on which they failed to connect the air brakes —the train continues to gain speed as it rips through the countryside of New York’s Southern Tier and North West Pennsylvania. With one near disaster after another, including the runaway train’s two unavoidable games of railway chicken with a passenger train carrying schoolchildren and a cargo train, the Corporate Office of AWVR decides to derail the train in a small town where they believe the civilian casualties will be minimal.
The cargo train that barely escaped a head on collision with the runaway train is manned by Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington, a recently laid-off train conductor serving his last two weeks on the job) and Will Colson (Chris Pine, a green train engineer just out of training). When the attempted derailing of the runaway fails, Barnes and Colson are forced to try to chase down the runaway train in the engine car of their train.
Driving in reverse at speeds over 70 miles per hour, Barnes and Colson have to catch the runaway train and slow it down before it reaches a dangerous elevated curve in the tracks in the city of Stanton, PA. The elevated curve in the tracks is located above a fuel oil tank farm, and if the train derails it would cause a huge environmental disaster. Scott fills the film with one thrilling rush after another and portrays the severity of danger the town of Stanton faced with exhilarating suspense.
Another interesting fact about the movie is that a large portion of the filming was done in New York’s Southern Tier, through the towns of Portville, Olean and Alleghany.
I give Unstoppable 4 ½ out of 5 stars and would highly recommend this movie to anyone who likes a fast-paced, edge-of- the-seat thriller. Both Washington and Pine give great performances and Tony Scott delivered his best film in several years. Unstoppable is still in theaters and well worth the money to go see it on the big screen.