Unstoppable is loosely based on a true story about a runaway train that has to be stopped - with the cargo of toxic chemicals in some of the freight cars, it would create a huge disaster if it crashes. Eventually only veteran engineer Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) and newly qualified conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine). Director Tony Scott can normally be relied upon to direct a visually attractive action fest, but to me the fly-on-the-wall documentary style didn't quite work here.
I didn't enjoy the first half of the movie much to be honest, too much of it seemed coincidence-driven or simply uninteresting. However the second half was much better (basically from the point Frank and Will have to try to stop the train themselves), though still some scenes tested my ability to continue suspending my belief. (Virtually every scene featuring Ned [Lew Temple] struck an unrealistic chord to me.) Still, there was a lot of tension being racked up in a lot of scenes, a few moments of humour scattered throughout. Eventually the relationship between the two men - first resentment, the begrudging acceptance, and finally friendship - became a compelling part of the story. The back stories with their families were never particularly interesting though.
Overall you'll enjoy it if you like disaster movies on the whole; I'm not a great fan which perhaps coloured my view, but I give the screenwriter (Mark Bomback) credit for not introducing some kind of ridiculous conspiracy theory (extremists sabotaging the brakes and using the freight train as a bomb sort of thing), which I actually thought was going to happen, and was glad it didn't. Not a great movie, but not a terrible one.
Er... so there you have it. Here's the trailer:
CaptainD - Movie Reviews Blog