|"Ehh,...no worries, I didn't want that anyway"|
Aside from how quickly paced scenes move in this film, there are a number of scenes for character development. Because there are moments that involve trains catching up to each other, this allows room for Frank and Will to talk and emote to each other about their separate lives and what they are currently dealing with. Frank is a widower with two daughters trying to make it through college and Will is a guy who's been put on a restraining order for a rash decision he made. Although at times these two characters bicker they do have heart and that makes them likable. This is important for main characters. Even Connie (Dawson) who comes off as hot headed at times is a sympathetic character because her situation is just as critical as the person whose trying to stop the train. Also, Dawson's knowledge of train terminology is astounding (apparently she has railroad experience in real life). Even for actor Kevin Dunn, who normally plays parent roles plays his character the right way, which represents how business leadership can become tainted over time.
As for the set pieces, there's something to admire about how real this film feels. For a plot that is described as extremely hazardous, it is amazing that a number of the action sequences were done live. Could you imagine being on a runaway diesel train with 30+ cars on the back end? What's great specifically about the runaway train is about how it’s portrayed. Whenever the train appears on screen, it screams metallic echoes that are a bit terrifying even from a passive point of view (from not literally being there). Envision the power behind all that weight and then speed it up,...it is literally a monster that is indestructible. The only visual elements that seem illogical are mostly the technical parts. For majority of the time, the special effects are kept to a minimum but there is one scene that looks like it wasn't touched up as nicely as it could've been. Also like a lot of action films, sometimes the laws of physics are blown off just to have the film go a certain way and here is no different. Some things just shouldn't be possible.
|Chris Pine & Denzel Washington|
Aside from having some implausible physics and undoctored special effects in a few areas, this thriller goes beyond comfortability with its suburban setting and realistic dangers of what happens when someone isn't paying attention. The actors perform well, the writing develops them nicely, the music gives the right amount of emotion, the cinematography and practical set pieces make it all the more real.
Points Earned --> 8:10