Unstoppable is a film about a runaway train full of dangerous chemicals headed toward a heavily populated area. True, this does sound like the plot to an old Superman cartoon, but it actually works. Nothing this big has really been done with trains. Sure, they’ve been used in action sequences like in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, or set pieces for romance and intrigue, but there’s never been a movie completely focused on a train like this. Unstoppable gets major credit for taking a unique idea and doing it well.
Called in to help stop the runaway train is an all-star cast. Ethan Suplee (My Name is Earl) plays the idiot engineer who originally set the train in unstoppable death missile mode. Rosario Dawson (Rent and Grindhouse) plays Connie, a train coordinator who’s keeping track of the thing. The real heroes of the plot are train engineer Frank played by Denzel Washington (The Book of Eli) and rookie engineer Will played by Chris Pine (Star Trek). The trains owner and vice CEO of the train corporation, played by Kevin Dunn, is trying to stop the train with least amount of cost and makes for a good tool to put things in front of the train so the audience can watch them blow up.
Throughout the film Pine goes through a subplot about him pulling a gun on a cop and ending up with a restraining order placed on him by his wife, and it’s somehow made obvious that if he can stop the train his marriage will somehow be saved in some Hollywood-cliché way. After all, the best cure for any marital problem is 70 tons of solid steel.
Overall, as previously stated, the movie was great. The acting was on target, as well as should be expected from the brilliant cast. The action was unique and spectacular, and even though a lot of the camera shots of the action had the shaky camera thing going on, making it seem like Jason Bourne was going to pop out and wave, for a movie like this it actually works. It really makes the audience feel like this thing is out of control and dangerous.
Overall, Unstoppable gets a whole-hearted recommendation. A great popcorn movie that’ll leave you thrilled and a little nervous the next time you have to cross the railroad tracks.
Unstoppable is rated PG-13 for intense action and some language, plus I think Chris Pine is briefly in his underwear for a minute at one point.