At the era of 3D movies (which I find not a bad thing at all), it’s necessary to remind that there are some movies which are useless to convert in this format, like Tony Scott’s movies. He uses long lens , with no depth in the picture, so the first ground is always increased. And it works: proofs are his two masterpieces Spy Game and Man On Fire.
To the audience, Tony Scott remains Top Gun's director, deeply conservative. He is not anymore, as Unstoppable proves it. My first reaction at the end of the movie was “oh my god, it’s a Frank Capra’s action movie !".
Indeed, the story focuses on two train drivers : the rookie, Will (Chris Pine, who shows that he has the potential to be a tough actor in future films) and Frank (Denzel Washingon). It’s interesting to see that all the main characters have no family name to make the identification easier to the audience. The main plot is about a train full of toxic products, going at fast speed across the country without any driver, all of this because of a human mistake. Authorities want to stop it ; unfortunately, no solutions (except totally useless ones) are found.
To me, the movie is a strong charge against unleashed capitalism : like the train, the system is created by men ; it's going fast, with no one to drive it, and catastrophes come fast, very fast. The solution cannot come from upper classes, shown in the movie through white collar white people, hidden in their skyscrapers and communicating only through cellphones or television networks.
The solution comes from strong community-spirited working classes : the two main characters, who decide by themselves to stop this train. Their goal being to save lives, not money. The salvation can only come from "the mass”. This spirit reminds of The Taking Of Pelham 123, in which the bad guy is a former trader.
But Unstoppable is first an entertainment movie, action packed, like all good Tony Scott movies. There is a rhythm problem at the beginning, later solved thanks to strong thrilling action scenes. It’s a pleasure because nowadays action movies seem to stop stimulating the audience by making too much an important part of character development. The problem is, when we see an action movie, we do not care about characters ! We want to see destruction, gunfights, explosions ; we do not care that the main character’s daughter wets her bed (as in 2012). Another major problem in action movies nowadays is the lack of clarity in shooting the action: most of time nowadays it's really hard to catch up with what's going on with cuts mixing close shots of characters' hands or faces (Green Zone, for instance). So when you see a Tony Scott movie, it’s a huge pleasure to see clarity, destruction and quality. He is maybe the best action movie director today, and for that, we love him.
4/6 from me. .