Twentieth Century Fox Corporation, Prospect Park, Scott Free Production

Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, Ethan Suplee, Kevin Dunn, Kevin Corrigan, Kevin Chapman, Lew Temple, T. J. Miller, Jessy Scham

Frank (Denzel) is an old timer, three weeks away from an early retirement.  Will (Chris Pine) is a rookie, just passed his exams and out to work for his first day.   They get assigned together, and Frank is trying to do the best he can to torture  the rookie on his first time out.  But it’s turning into an unusual day.   One of the engineers commits a cardinal sin and jumps down from the engine of a half mile long freight train to flip a switch leaving the cabin unattended.  It slips into gear and he can’t catch it in time to get back into it.  Suddenly we’ve got a freight train tearing down the main track at 80 miles per hour.  not a good thing, especially when it is heading straight for Stanton, PA. which is a highly populated area with an elevated curve.  Every effort to stop the engine fails, and it falls on Will and Frank to try to stop it.  To top it off, many of the cars are filled with a toxic chemical.

This film had a hard time getting made.  It took about 6 years to complete, and at one point Denzel walked out on the project, but came back after a script rewrite.  This story is based on a real event in Toledo where a train took off under similar circumstances and ran for almost 70 miles before being stopped.  The situation was close enough that it promoted a “based on real events” notice at the beginning of the film.  The facts are stretched, and the names of the places were made up, and the incident happened in Ohio, not in Pennsylvania.  Ironically, the movie was mostly filmed in Ohio.  Denzel is wonderful in this film, and has just the right amount of meanness and niceness.  He’s able to torture the new guy, but be very caring when it makes sense.  Meanwhile Chris Pine who was chosen by Denzel for the role, also was excellent as a kind of spoiled rich kid (but not really) who is related to the big wigs in this fictitious railroad, and this angers the old timers who are being kicked out because their pay is too high and replaced by young kids at lower wages.  The suspense in this film is intense, and the sight and sounds are unreal.   This is one of the best action films I’ve seen in a long time.  The time flew by, and it was very exciting.  I think they did an excellent job on this, and the fact that it is based on a real incident makes it even more adventurous.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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