Commentary by Michael J. Lee (October 2010)|
Whatever connotation it concocts in your mind, we've been thinking of Unstoppable simply as "Armageddon with a train." Like the 1998 disaster flick, Denzel Washington's latest adventure on the rails centers on would-be heroes cheered on by a nation of bystanders as a destructive force hurtles closer and closer to a helpless population. In the case of Unstoppable, the backdrop shifts from space to an obviously more earthbound and recognizable arena, but the set-up and structure adhere to roughly the same formula: desk jockeys determine an imminent threat and shout orders over a wire, while everything that could possibly go wrong does so in sequential fashion.
Like most blockbuster action flicks, Unstoppable has the element of noisy spectacle on its side: the film is loud, boisterous, and fast-paced. The train starts rolling on its death march in the story's opening moments, then quickly becomes a 70 mile per hour cacophony of noise and steel. The dialogue is delivered with equal haste, dense with technical jargon and shouting matches.
Unstoppable is loosely based on a real life incident in which a train cruised unmanned for over 60 miles, and naturally takes enough creative license to punch up the events Hollywood style. Rosario Dawson's character succinctly describes the titular vehicular antagonist as "a missile the size of the Chrysler Building." Whether you interpret that as hyperbole or drama is probably a good indicator as to how you would receive the rest of the film.
WATCH THE TRAILER FOR UNSTOPPABLE