by Dan Fields
First published November 13, 2010 by the California Literary Review
“I hear the train a-comin’…”
Johnny Cash probably would not have written a song about this train, and it lacks the proper edge for Bruce Springsteen to step to the plate either. Nonetheless, Unstoppable is a suitably entertaining movie for a season decidedly short on enjoyable thrills. It is simple without crossing into brainlessness. It is not exactly deep, given its more or less stock characters and age-old dramatic framework of proud working family men versus the big bad corporation. But if you want fast trains and lots of them, mister, we’ve got ‘em.
The movie boasts a respectable cast and a decent script. The primary players – Chris Pine, Denzel Washington, Rosario Dawson, and Lew Temple – do their jobs very nicely. I counted only one major dialogue misfire. In this day and age, no one has the excuse to resurrect the old disaster movie crutch of describing your problem as “the size of the Chrysler building.” For me, that line is a tired old horse that needs shooting, along with “Failure is not an option.”