Carole McFaddan

Thinking about seeing Denzel’s new film Unstoppable? As Nike says “Just Do It!” Unstoppable received an 86% percent FRESH rating on www.rottentomatoes.com and an 83% positive viewer rating.

Inspired by true events from the Pennsylvania Railroad, this film is an adrenaline rush fueled by director Tony Scott’s signature mark of propulsive action rooted in the reality of ordinary people placed in extraordinary circumstances. Denzel Washington portrays veteran train engineer, Frank, and Chris Pine portrays the young conductor Will. These two race the clock to stop an unmanned train carrying enough toxic chemicals to become effectively a missile the size of a skyscraper and prevent disaster in a heavily populated area (Collateral Damage, Pa).

The two go throughout a typical day on the job, with Frank using his skill on the railroad to set young rookie Will straight in his new career. Though inspired by true events, the conversations between the men seem to be opportunistic points for political allegories about the economy, industries that are weakened by layoffs and understaffing, and corporate callousness. With or without the political inferences, Unstoppable was unstoppably good.

Unstoppable also scores points in grounding all of its action in practical locations: on real moving trains. Those are real train cars that Washington (and his stunt double) is running across. Watching such stunt-work is impressive.