As brought up here, I had high hopes for this remake.
I should talk though – I haven’t seen the 1974 Walter Matthau original yet!
Long story short, John Travolta plays a crazy possessed Catholic nutbag former Wall Street high roller (that enough description for you?) who hijacks the Pelham 123 train in New York, in order to get his message across to the island of Manhattan that he was treated unfairly by the courts and was sent to jail. Denzel Washington is the subway dispatcher with a slight seedy past, who happens to get the Pelham 123 on his watch. He also ends up being the negotiator to save the hostages. James Gandolfini is the Mayor of New York, who handles the pressure of the hostage crisis. Pretty small role really.
With a budget of $100 million (Travolta got paid $20 million for his troubles), Pelham really didn’t show much of the effects and action you could possibly get for $80 million. There were suspenseful moments with the hostage shootings and police delivering the ransom money. It was pretty basic, with some questions left unanswered, such as how the guy turn his laptop back on after the battery going flat, and the full reason behind Travolta’s nutbag schenanigans.
I’m sure that the 2 hour and 1 minute movie would be better with a beer and a home theatre system… not at the cinema.