Remake is a Harrowing Descent into the Depths of one Man's Psychosis
Perpetual sensitive guy John Travolta has proved, once again, he can play one bad Dude. As he proved most recently in the Punisher, in 2004, John Travolta is quite adept at slipping into the skin of a psychotic, and then oozing the terrible stench of a truly bad man. In "Taking of Pelham 123," Actor Travolta plays the role of a former Wall Street hedge fund manager, named Ryder, turned psychopath, who wants vengeance on the city that destroyed him - New York.
Ryder's serendipitous antagonist, Walter Garber, is played by another fine actor, Denzel Washington, who is always on his mark in every role he has played. Walter is a disgraced New York City Public Transportation supervisor, who has been demoted to the position of a subway traffic controller, who randomly gets the call from Ryder that he is holding hostages on the Pelham 123 train, and that he has demands. After Ryder executes his first two hostages, the city officials, speaking through Ryder's chosen emissary, Walter as the negotiator, are willing to enter into earnest negotiation.
The city Officials negotiating: John Torturro as lead negotiator Camonetti, and James Gandolfini as the New York City Mayor. Ryder wants 10,000,000.00, and the Mayor is moving with all haste before the Psychopathic Ryder kills another constituent. The Brian Helgeland screenplay of the John Godey novel is a predictable narrative, except this remake is more violent than the original, starring Walter Mathau a in the Denzel role, and ravolta role. Director Tony Scott builds a palpable level of suspense on the sturdy foundation of John Travolta's psychotic character, and John is well capable of manhandling this role of a total sociopath.
Denzel is one of the ten best actor alive today, and he is well prepared to go toe to toe with the hyperbolic Travolta's Ryder character. John Torturro is also an outstanding actor, havingpalyed a variety of roles in so many fine films, with James Gandolfini as believable a mayor as I have seen since Rudy Guliuani.
And this is why you should see the film. It is a good story with some very fine actors. I was on the edge of my seat for most of the 106 minutes of this picture's runtime, and I am still reeling a day later from the graphic images and moreover, the crazed diction of psychotic Ryder, who was very capable of getting into your head. He sure got into mine.
Rated R. Released on DVD November 3, 2009.
This post appears courtesy of our sister site, Beaufort County NOW, with their expressed permission.