Movie Details


Tony Scott directs this remake of the original 1974 "The Taking Of Pelham 123" where Subway train Pelham 1-2-3 becomes the focal point of an audacious terrorist attack. A transit cop (Denzel Washington) goes against a group of hijackers lead by Ryder (John Travolta), that take over a subway train in order to rake in a hefty ransom. The ransom must reach them within an hour or they`ll start killing the hostages in the train.

Language: English
Subtitle: NA
Classification: NC16
Release Date: 11 Jun 2009
Genre: Thriller
Running Time: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
Cast: Denzel Washington, John Travolta, Luis Guzman, Victor Gojcaj
Director: Tony Scott
Format: NA


Writer: Nur Safina Othman

Writer Ratings:

Watch this if you liked: "Deja Vu"

What do you get when two talented actors, Denzel Washington and John Travolta perform together in a movie? Tony Scott directs the original Joseph Sargent's 1974 thriller and it seems that the remake has the perfect ingredients for a good action thriller - great actors in the lead, simple and understandable plot, full of suspense, and a bit of humour included.

Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is the unlucky dispatcher who gets the call from Ryder (John Travolta) and a gang of armed hijackers who have taken over the Pelham 1 2 3 subway train, demanding USD$10 million to be delivered in an hour, and promising to kill a passenger every minute past the deadline. Ryder's memorable quote, "Life is simple. They just have to do what I say" definitely shows him as a man of his words. For the next one hour and a half, Garber is glued to his radio trying everything in his power to keep the situation under control. Ryder, however, is a clever guy who does not want to be messed with, and his cocky attitude and dangerous honesty further complicate things for Garber and everybody else involved.

"The Taking Of Pelham 1 2 3" manages to generate a solid dose of suspense despite a more or less simplistic story line that boasts strong characters. The audience is periodically reminded of the time frame by characters checking their watches and "minutes remaining" words slicing across the screen. The ticking clock scenario brings an inherent level of suspense and the pace rumbles quickly along the track. The movie remains interesting to watch before the inevitable face-off. However, this reviewer feels that the movie could've ended much better differently.

The collaboration between Washington and Travolta delivers an engaging performance. There's no doubt Washington's role is the main focus here, playing the aging family man with financial troubles. He successfully displays the ability to become whatever his character is supposed to be as he portrays a good sense of calmness while dealing with Ryder. Meanwhile, John Travolta who previously dressed in drag and sang in the musical "Hairspray" (2007) is cast as the villain. He is an impressive actor that is able to carry out the role as a convincing psychopathic hijacker. It was intense watching these two characters play off each other throughout this movie.

Overall, it was entertaining and realistic without being too over the top.

Cinema Online, 22 July 2009
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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