The Taking Of Pelham 123 Full ...
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In New York, four criminals led by the smart Ryder hijack the subway train Pelham 123, stopping the first car with nineteen hostages in a higher plane in the tunnel in Manhattan. Ryder calls the subway control center and the operator Walter Garber talks to him. The abductor demands ten million dollar and gives one hour to the delivery by the City Hall. The Mayor accepts to pay the ransom while the NYPD negotiator Camonetti assumes the negotiation. However Ryder demands that Garber, who was demoted from an executive position due to the accusation of accepting kickback in the purchase business of Japanese trains, continues to be his liaison with the authorities. Within the tense hour, Ryder empathizes with Garber and asks him to bring the money to the train.
In early afternoon, four armed men hijack a subway train in Manhattan. They stop on a slight incline, decoupling the first car to let the rest of the train coast back. Their leader is Ryder; he connects by phone with Walter Garber, the dispatcher watching that line. Garber is a supervisor temporarily demoted while being investigated for bribery. Ryder demands $10 million within an hour, or he'll start shooting hostages. He'll deal only with Garber. The mayor okays the payoff, the news of the hostage situation sends the stock market tumbling, and it's unclear what Ryder really wants or if Garber is part of the deal. Will hostages, kidnappers, and negotiators live through this?
New York City subway dispatcher Walter Garber's ordinary day is thrown into chaos by an audacious crime: the hijacking of a subway. Ryder, the criminal mastermind who, as leader of a highly-armed gang of four, threatens to execute the train's passengers unless a large ransom is paid within one hour. As the tension mounts beneath his feet, Garber employs his vast knowledge of the subway system in a battle to outwit Ryder and save the hostages. –© Sony Pictures<br/><br/>A lot has changed after 35 years since the last ToP123 film. Technology has taken over and the city of New York has changed, especially after the 9/11 attacks. In this way, the remake of ToP123 doesn't seem like such a bad idea compared to other remakes, and it isn't. In fact, while the remake generally hits the same spots in the original film, it's a completely different film overall.<br/><br/>Let's start with the most obvious change: The tone. While the original ToP123 played out more like a dark comedy, the remake is far more serious, and I prefer it that way. No matter how much I enjoyed the original's comedy, I will always prefer the more realistic serious tone for the remake. I mean, after all, a hostage situation shouldn't be taken very lightly, especially when there are lives involved.<br/><br/>I also liked Denzel Washington's performance a lot. I haven't seen a lot of his films but this is my first time seeing him play a vulnerable and flawed human being. There's a subtlety about his performance, someone who's trying to keep his emotions from affecting his job. I wish I could say the same about John Travolta, who's more of a hit and miss type of character. In some scenes, he's good, while in others, he was laughable because of how over the top he plays his character. I can't keep a straight face whenever he dropped the f-bomb. John Turturro is pretty good, which is great because I could not stand him in the Transformers films.<br/><br/>Another thing I liked is the addition of technology in the story. It's sometimes used for moving the plot and sometimes used to develop a character. However, one main thing I don't like about the film is Tony Scott's direction. It's kinetic and jumpy rather than coherent and suspenseful. The film has a hard time building up tension because of how the film is shot and edited. I didn't like the whole blurriness and the ongoing slow motion used throughout the film at all.<br/><br/>The film also meanders around the third act, especially during the climax, where it's supposed to be the most exciting part. There's also a lot of plot contrivances that happens in the third act that bothered me because they were so ridiculous.<br/><br/>Although with the many flaws the remake has, it's still a good thriller, mostly due to Washington's performance. I liked the transition to a modern New York setting as well as the straight forward serious tone. Give it a watch if you're interested or skip the ride if you think the remake is unnecessary.
It has been the best part of a decade since I saw the original film version of this story but I still remember it being pretty enjoyable with a dark edge of comedy. From the opening seconds of the remake it is clear that the focus here is going to be on the action. Jay-Z's 99 Problems kicks things off while the camera swooshes and zooms round as all the main players move into position – within minutes subway car Pelham 123 has been taken and a race to save the hostages begins. The rest of the film is meant to be exciting and tense and we know this because the camera is constantly swooshing and throwing in slow-motion bits here and there to let us know that the stakes are high, lives are on the line and that we should all be tense.<br/><br/>Sadly, while the cinematographer is keen to make sure we know this, nobody else seems that bothered because the film does nothing to justify the sweeping camera movements and pumping soundtrack. In terms of physical "money up there on the screen" action, there is very little and what there is just seems thrown in for the sake of having some action (the car crashes trying to get the money in on time) rather than being part of the film. This in itself is not a problem by any means, because the nature of the plot did always suggest that the spark would be in the dialogue and the interplay between the two stars. Sadly this is lacking as well. It isn't "bad" though, but it just lacks spark, impact and tension. The problem is mainly with the script but director Scott doesn't seem to know what to do with it all anyway and seems desperate for characters to get shot or for things to crash into something just for the sake of having action. Travolta appears to be happy just to ham it up with a simplistic performance that matches the basic feel of the film. Washington had the harder job and suggests he could have done it with better material and direction – instead he is thrown into forced dialogue and unlikely semi-action sequences towards the end. The supporting cast is pretty good through with a handful of HBO faces in there (Sopranos' Gandolfini, Generation Kill's Kelly and The Wire's Akinnagbe). Gandolfini, Guzman and Turturro all do the good work you would expect from them, although again all are limited by the material.<br/><br/>It is not an awful film, so if you are looking for a glossy but basic thriller with stars and a big budget then this will just about be good enough to pass the time. The lack of spark and tension is the killer though and this the film cannot compensate for no matter how many time the camera swooshes around or the editor makes quick cuts – the failure is deeper than that and nobody appeared to be able to address it to make this film better than it was.
More than anything a fascinating portrait of how much New York has changed in 35 years, the film delivers the goods in excitement and big-star charisma.
Four armed men—Bashkim (<a href="/name/nm2963873/">Victor Gojcaj</a>), Emri (<a href="/name/nm2963717/">Robert Vataj</a>), Phil Ramos (<a href="/name/nm0350079/">Luis Guzmán</a>), and their leader, Bernard Ryder (<a href="/name/nm0000237/">John Travolta</a>)—hijack the lead car of a subway train in Manhattan. Ryder contacts MTA dispatcher Walter Garber (<a href="/name/nm0000243/">Denzel Washington</a>) in the Rail Control Center (RCC) and demands $10 million in ransom to be delivered in one hour or they will start shooting the 19 hostages, one for each minute the money is late. The Taking of Pelham 123 is based on the 1973 novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three by American author Morton Freedgood, writing under the pen name of John Godey. The novel was adapted for this movie by American screenwriters Brian Helgeland and David Koepp. An earlier adaptation of the novel, <a href="/title/tt0072251/">The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)</a>, was released in 1974. A TV remake, <a href="/title/tt0140594/">The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1998)</a>, was released in 1998. Pelham refers to a local Manhattan train that departs from Pelham Bay Park. The "123" refers to the time that it leaves 1:23. The "taking" refers to a hijacking. After Garber delivers the money, the hijackers start up the train, having found a way to circumvent the dead man feature. They get off the train at the Roosevelt spur, a derelict tunnel built under the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The train continues forward, picking up speed until the passengers become alarmed and the authorities at the MTV conclude that no one is driving the train anymore. Fortunately, the train trips a red light and stops. MTV orders all patrol cars to converge at the Roosevelt spur, where they open fire on Bashkim and Emri. Garber follows Ryder, who has hailed a taxi in which he checks his laptop to find that he has successfully shortsold the market and invested in gold, earning a huge profit. Ryder hijacks a truck and follows Ryder's cab to the Manhattan Bridge where Ryder has exited his stalled cab. Garber catches up to him on the pedestrian walkway and confronts him with a gun. Ryder demands that Garber kill him before the police do and gives him 10 seconds to shoot. At the end of the 10 seconds, Ryder reaches for his gun, and Garber shoots him. "You're my goddamn hero," Ryder says as he sinks to the ground. Later, while on his way home, Garber is stopped by the mayor (<a href="/name/nm0001254/">James Gandolfini</a>) who thanks him, informs him that the city will go to bat for him in the bribery investigation, and offers him a ride home in his car. Garber takes the train instead. In the final scene, he arrives home, a half-gallon of milk in his hand. The first drafts of the script faced the challenge of updating the novel with contemporary technology, including cellphones, GPS, laptops, thermal imaging, and a post-9/11 world in New York City. In December 2007, David Koepp, who adapted the novel for Scott and Washington said: I wrote many drafts to try and put it in the present day and keep all the great execution that was there from the first one. It's thirty years later so you have to take certain things into account. Hopefully we came up with a clever way to move it to the present. Koepp's drafts were meant to be "essentially familiar" to those who read the novel, preserving the "great hero vs. villain thing" of the original. Brian Helgeland, the only one receiving credit for the screenplay, took the script in a different direction, making the remake more like the 1974 film than the novel and, as Helgeland put it, making it about "two guys who weren't necessarily all that different from each other." Whereas the novel is told from more than 30 perspectives, keeping readers off balance because it is unknown which characters the writer might suddenly discard, the two films focus on the lead hijacker and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority employee with whom he communicates by phone. The new version sharpens that focus until it's almost exclusively a duel between disgraced MTA dispatcher Walter Garber and manic gunman Ryder.<br/><br/>In the book and original film, Ryder is "cold-blooded and calculating", but in the 2009 film he is a "loose cannon willing to kill innocents, not out of necessity, but out of spite." Also Ryder, in the original film and book, is portrayed as a normal looking businessman, while in the 2009 film he looks like he has adopted prison life, wearing very visible prison related tattoos and very laid back modern style of a biker. In the 1974 film, the main character is named Zachary Garber and is a lieutenant in the Transit Authority police; in the 2009 film, the main character is named Walter Garber and works as a subway train dispatcher. Ryder asks for $10 million dollars instead of the $1 million as in the original film and book and $5 million in the made-for TV movie. Ryder does not use the "Mr. Blue" nickname as the original film does; it is implied that Ryder is a nickname.
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