The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Now THIS is how an action movie should be made!

Director Tony Scott has worked with Denzel Washington before ("Man on Fire") but I'm guessing this is his first time with John Travolta ("Swordfish"). Having never seen the 1974 original, I have nothing with which to compare this 2009 version, but the technical values, the caliber of the acting and the perfection of the two leads in this one convinced me that it is probably the better movie. I didn't like the herky-jerky camera work during the establishing shots, but I promise you, things WILL settle down. Whew!

This updated script gives us perfect pacing: humor, drama, action, suspense, car chases, gun fights, helicopter flights over a New York City skyline (I still miss the twin towers) and a character with whom we can relate. This is basically a heist flick, so it's satisfying when we compre- hend the intelligence of the plan. Our Mr. Washington is the hapless dis- patcher who gets the call when a subway car is taken hostage and the passengers are held for ransom. He is waaaay out of his depth, but is so earnest and resourceful that we have that vital element: Someone to root for!

On the other hand, John Travolta gets his teeth into a big character and never lets go! He plays every word in every scene with great relish... AND he's funny! James Gandolfini ("In The Loop") is no slouch in the funny-lines department, either.

Lots of humor, lots of excitement, lots of tension, lots of bang for your entertainment buck!