The Taking of Pelham 123 Movie Review

The Taking Of Pelham 123 (R)

The Taking of Pelham 123 is a movie about some men who take over a New York subway train. With Jay-Z beginning the movie with a credits sequence that, for some reason, I remember often, we have The Taking of Pelham 123.

The three key points to this movie are characters, dialogue, and camerawork. The characters are interesting, fueled by backstory and dialogue. Denzel Washington plays Garber very well. Accused of taking a bribe in the past, you could see his determination to get the situation under control in an effort to prove himself to all of his doubters.

John Travolta pulls off Ryder fantastically. Ryder isn’t any ordinary criminal. He knows money and math like a human calculator, and he is religious, (supposedly) but he is also aggressive and demanding. You don’t know if he’ll crack a joke or shoot a guy. That’s what makes this villain work. Every scene that included Travolta is golden.

His character, as well as the others, were all believable, and you understood what kind of people they were from the start. Characterization worked, but how about the dialogue that came with the characters?

Most of the notable dialogue is between Ryder and Garber, trading stories and demands over the radio/subway train phone. Where this movie thrives is Ryder’s dialogue. He has ridiculous stories, unbelievable demands, and he can snap any minute. He isn’t a cliched bad guy, and the high point of the film, undoubtedly.

Every line spoken was true to each individual character, unlike how in Harry Potter, for example, Ronald Weasley is the movie’s output for the obvious.

The filming was interesting. Fast camera motions and dark lighting made the movie feel unique. I haven’t seen a movie like the taking of Pelham 123 in a while. When I review a movie, I absolutely hate using the words, “fun” and “entertaining” because fun could be The Losers and entertaining could be Percy Jackson, both pretty bad movies. Still, it pains me to say that this movie was entertaining, and with good reason. This movie is rewatchable, thrilling, and…entertaining.

This movie is a Filet. I would love to own it, except for the fact that its on HBO every day.

Interesting facts: When Garber drops the gun at the end of the movie, you can clearly see a hand catch it.

When Garber makes a joke about Jersey (typical) and Ryder replies, “You watch it, I was born there.” Well…it’s true. John Travolta was born in Englewood, New Jersey


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