my wife is a sucker for a good action flick, which she refers to as "bang-bang-shoot-em-ups." and, whether she would admit this to your face or not, "bang-bang-shoot-em-ups" are her absolute most favorite film genre. granted, she is nearly always disturbed by the inherent violence of action films, praying "Oh Jesus!" everytime anybody gets shot. likewise, the required foul language in action films surprises and disgusts latonya each time, as she crinkles her forehead and solemnly declares, "if they keep this up, i'm turning this off." she's a lady who suffers an odd paradox for her art, simultaneously hoping the best and the worst for everyone in these film: she understands that people gotta get banged-banged-and-shot-up in action flicks, but she just wants them to do it nicely.
also, even more than action flicks, latonya's a sucker for john travolta. but, even more than john travolta, she's a total sucker for denzel. and still more than denzel, she's a wicked sucker for an action flick pitching john travolta against denzel. for latonya stephanie still, THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 should have been the trifecta of lazy sunday film watching. she even gleefully plopped back on her movie pillow as if this trifecta marked her birthday twice in a single year.
regretfully, PELHAM 123 did not deliver the trifecta it promised. there were bangs, so latonya prayed her reverential "Oh Jesus!" and travolta tried his best to cuss like nick nolte in a samuel l. jackson costume, so her forehead cringed. but the film lacked the most vital element of action flicks: tension. even with time running out and hostages dying and denzel running four-minute-miles in loafers and the gorgeous john turturro screaming his adam's apple off in the background, PELHAM 123 was a total flatline. i've felt more suspense waiting to see if all my microwave popcorn actually popped.
i think we both agreed that THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 deserves 2 travolta neck tats out of 5. roger ebert said it best in the opening line of his review: "There's nothing much wrong with Tony Scott's 'The Taking of Pelham 123' except that there's not much really right about it." save this for your next bout of flu or mono or dysentery. this is a great film for when you don't have time or energy for a film.
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speaking of denzel, i would like to add that our very own guest reviewer, tiffani riggers, wrote a humdinger of a review for THE BOOK OF ELI on her personal page. the lady knows her way around a good film. i'm anxious to publish more by her in the weeks to come.