Taking in The Taking of Pelham 123
By Noah Michelson
Denzel Washington has perhaps given up on actually acting, or he is on the Diane Keaton retirement plan of playing the same version of a character in every movie. John Travolta isn't far off from this career choice either, I think he's down to playing one of two characters: the good-bad guy and the bad-good guy. But there is something comforting in the familiarity of them both, like watching episodes of CSI. The heart of the movies is the heist itself, and here it's solid, nerve-wracking, and well-paced. There are a few attempts to modernize the experience, namely the use of laptops and wireless networks, but luckily they're used judiciously and the movie relies more on the psychology of hostage negotiation and the breaking point of everyday middle-class men in the city. Its a well-executed action movie with nothing egregiously offensive, either to one's sensibility or one's intelligence, and Travolta is kinda hot with that neck tattoo.
-- A. RAYMOND JOHNSON
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