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Armed men hijack a New York City subway train, holding the passengers hostage in return for a ransom, and turning an ordinary day's work for dispatcher Walter Garber into a face-off with the mastermind behind the crime.
This sort of thing by design devolves into two guys talking on a phone, which if it's got any chance of working requires strong actors to bring their characters to life. Which is probably where Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 succeeds best.
'The Taking of Pelham 123' is not a bad film: it's ponderous and shallow, but always watchable. But what it crucially fails to do, especially in the light of its illustrious predecessor, is justify its own existence.
Washington demonstrates his really remarkable ability to make us forget he's a movie star and completely believe he's a flawed but noble civil servant.
June 15, 2009
Christian Science Monitor
Whereas the original, directed by Joseph Sargent, was essentially a well-oiled B movie, the new incarnation, directed by Tony Scott, is bristling with high-tech gimcrackery and over-the-top camera flourishes.