There was nothing wrong with The Taking of Pelham 123. The acting in Pelham was more than adequate, as you would expect with high caliber actors Denzel and Travolta carrying the load. The story was okay; the direction was okay; the writing was okay. So as much as anything that’s what is wrong with Pelham. It was just okay.
There are no great reveals and no great plot twists. Which in and of itself is no crime but that leaves the movie as nothing more than a simple story. And that can work well if there are compelling characters. Characters that you want to live, or die, or overcome some obstacle. Someone to root for. But that’s not the case here.
Denzel played his character just fine but the character as written was unassuming and humble. So no great attachment is made with the audience.
Travolta’s character – Ryder – wasn’t terribly evil or malicious. So it’s hard to root against him. It seems as though an effort was made to make the audience associate with Ryder and think, “This could be me under those circumstances.” But the story just doesn’t quite pull it off.
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