Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, The
Walter Garber is a subway supervisor who’s temporarily demoted as an investigation into possible bribery is being conducted. As such he’s currently working as a dispatcher when he gets contacted in the early afternoon by a man called Ryder who states he and his men have taken over a subway train (Pelham 1 2 3) in Manhattan and demand the city to pay 10 million dollars within the hour. If the mayor doesn’t comply with his demand, Ryder will start killing hostages.
NYPD negotiator Camonetti quickly comes in and wants to take over, but Ryder makes it very clear he doesn’t want to talk with him and only wants to deal with Garber which makes Camonetti wonder whether Garber may be in on it…
Sound and Vision:
A great transfer is ours yet again as The Taking of Pelham 123 comes in with razor-sharp images, no compression errors, good contrast and striking colors. Yes there’s some grain present but that’s intentional and we won’t hold it again this transfer.
The sound comes with crystal clear dialogues and an plenty of action for the surround speakers and subwoofer. Just turn up the volume and enjoy!
– No Time to Lose: The Making of Pelham 123
– The Third Rail: New York Underground
– From the Top Down: Stylizing Character
– Marketing Pelham
– Audio Commentary tracks
A pretty standard bunch of extras, which mostly are also found on the DVD release
The Taking of Pelham 123 is a remake of the movie from the 70s starring Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw but this time we get Denzel Washington, John Travolta and a whole slew of other well-known people on the screen, under the directing eyes of Tony Scott. And that’s where things go wrong. Tony Scott has a very chaotic way of shooting his movies and although it does work at times (Man on Fire) it doesn’t always. The fact that it looks like he’s gone even more chaotic than ever while nothing is happening and he should be looking at character development makes things only worse. Add to that the fact that Travolta does his usual macho tricks and Turturro and Guzman could have just as easily been replaced by any Joe Schmuck as their screentime is extremely limited you can start wondering whether there’s anything interesting to be found.
“Maybe the action”, you think. Well, the action is for the largest part limited to a chase through New York to get the ransom money where it needs to be. One police car with several bikes trying to block streets and cars crashing everywhere. And that while a helicopter if flying above. Hello??? Has the police gone completely stupid? No, The Taking of Pelham 123 may be something to watch if you really have nothing else to do (or have to review it) but it’s certainly not a good movie and that’s solely to blame to Tony Scott who picks up every trick he’s used in the past, and smears them out over the film until there’s nothing left but blur.
The only thing that’s not blurry is the transfer to Blu-ray which is done very nicely but that doesn’t justify a purchase. Rental at best.