Hollywood Product: The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (1)
GENRE: High-testosterone hostage drama remake
THE PITCH: A subway dispatcher under an ethics investigation (Denzel Washington) becomes an unexpected hostage negotiator when four heavily armed jerks (led by John Travolta) hijack an NYC subway car.
MONEY SHOTS: The giant computer map of all New Yorks subway lines and cars in motion always looks cool. Two high-impact car crashes feature flips and other collateral damage during a race to deliver the money. Director Tony Scott frequently uses hilariously showy computer-enhanced satellite-to-street-level shots. I kind of like the dramatic moment when the Pelham 1 2 3 subway car blows past the platform used as a police base.
MONEY SOUNDS: MARTA riders and other subway commuters will have flashbacks whenever they hear that high-pitched, train-getting-up-to-speed noise.
BEST LINE: “Im not running for re-election, Im not running for president and I left my Rudy Giuliani suit at home,” declares James Gandolfini as New Yorks mayor when he turns down a chance to step into the spotlight.
(Photo courtesy 2009 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.)