‘Unstoppable’ in review

Based on true events, a freight train’s ‘unstoppable’ force roars down the tracks

More stories from Sadie Sedlmayr



Tony Scott’s “Unstoppable” is based on true events and gives an accurate depiction of a runaway train.

Clackety, clackety, clackety, clack…Choo choo! “All aboard, all aboard, it’s going to be a wild ride!”

Tony Scott’s 2010 disaster film “Unstoppable” pulls out all the stops of continuous suspense and relentless action in all its glory. Viewers are in for an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, electrifying ride.

The freight train in this motion picture has no engineer on board and accelerates to 70 mph. It is here the flick gets its title.

From the start, the film is as relentless as the train, as it slowly but surely gathers momentum before it reaches its unremitting final hour.

The trouble begins when an engineer, Dewey (Ethan Suplee), gets off of the train after thinking he had brought it to a full stop. But by the time he sees the train slowly pulling away, it’s too late to stop it.

At first, it’s assumed that the train is a “coaster,” which is a commuter rail service that operates in the central and northern coastal regions of San Diego County with eight total stops in between.

But it was actually under full throttle.

The high-speed train carries hazardous materials and rockets straight toward the heart of Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Dewey is able to tell the story from several points of view. In the cab of another train, a longtime engineer named Frank Barnes (Denzel Washington) is breaking in a new conductor Will Colson (Chris Pine). In the station yard, a yard master named Connie Hooper (Rosario Dawson)) is in charge of dispatch and operations.

In the railroad’s corporate offices, executive Oscar Galvin (Kevin Dunn) is more concerned about the cost of damages this will all entail if they end up losing the train.

The acting in this film is something to behold. Washington and Pine have good on-screen chemistry and they’re both able to feed off of each other’s natural talents and range of emotions.

Washington never breaks character and always leaves the viewer in awe of his acting abilities. From the beginning, the viewer is swept into a realistic representation of true grit in Washington’s character as he takes us on an adventure as he attempts to stop the freight train from causing further chaos.

In the same way, Pine is able to follow in Washington’s lead as a supporting actor and give a performance of a character who is flawed but redeemable as he journeys with Washington’s character into being the hero and saving the day.

What follows is build-up of a relationship between these two characters, who disliked one another at first, into an unlikely duo of companionship as each of them learn to trust, respect and rely on each other through this life-or-death situation.  

This motion picture will surely leave you with a wide range of emotions stemming from all the twists and turns it entails.

“Unstoppable” plays Friday Nov. 4 at 7 p.m., Saturday Nov. 5 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. in Woodland Theater.