Unstoppable is nothing like the movie where the bus can't be stopped, or the movie where the boat can't be stopped, or the Geto Boys album where they can't be stopped. It is nothing like that movie where the grizzled older dude just days away from retirement is paired up with a wet-behind-the-ears hotshot rookie who's gonna give him a heart attack if he doesn't get him killed first, and they have to set aside their differences and learn to work together to deal with a crisis. Unstoppable is nothing like any of these. In this one, it's a train what can't be stopped.
It's Chris Pine's first day on the job as a train conductor, and all he wants is some training (If you get Chris Pine and Chris Evans mixed up, don't worry: They're the same person). But it ain't gonna be easy, on account of in training they just give you an F, but out here you get killed, according to Denzel Washington, a grizzled older train conductor just days away frOH NO! There's a runaway train! Not only that, it's full of chemicals! What kind? Who cares! Furthermore, there's a train full of children (probably orphan children) coming right at it! Apparently this is based on a true story! I find that hard to believe!!!
“I need to know where that train is,” barks Denzel Washington into the radio. “We're not sure,” says the voice at the other end. You're not sure?! Motherfucker, do you remember when you were in high school, and you cracked wise about how nobody was ever going to hold a gun to your head and make you calculate where a train leaving Cleveland at 8 AM going at 50 miles per hour was going to be at 12 noon? This is that goddamn situation, only instead of a gun, it's a train that's going to murder school children! Solve for X, jerkoff!
I think my favorite thing in the trailer is that it keeps showing the train smashing into things. “Look,” it seems to be saying, “It's unstoppable. See? This didn't stop it. I know you're sitting there all smug, thinking that eventually the train will run out of momentum. You stupid idiot, this train is unstoppable. Look.”
I think my second favorite thing in the trailer is the blustery fat-cat executive-type yelling in his big swanky boardroom. “I'm not risking this company just because some engineer wants to play 'hero'!” he sneers. Dude, in this situation, your options are limited.
I think my third favorite thing in the trailer is when the hispanic lady carrying donuts lays out the entire premise of the movie in an upwards inflection, and then Randy from My Name Is Earl goes, “Yeah.” This is in my top three favorite things because I like to imagine that this is exactly how the studio pitch for Unstoppable went.
Listen, I love a good scare as much as the next guy, but we know exactly how this one's gonna play out right off the bat. Denzel Washington's grizzled and full of hard-won wisdom. He's got two beautiful daughters. Dude's deader than disco. His sacrifice won't be in vain, of course, because Chris Pine's gonna realize what's important in life and put things right with his wife, setting his marriage back on track. Train puns!
TWO STARS DUE TO CHOO CHOO CHOOSE A BETTER PREMISE NEXT TIME.