Unstoppable London Boulevard

Two more films to make up for last week’s drought, courtesy of some kids’ film taking up all the new screens.

Unstoppable

“In training they just give you an F. Out here you get killed.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Runaway train!

“Based on real events” apparently, but who cares. Unstoppable is ninety minutes of being sat on the edge of your seat despite knowing perfectly well how it’s going to end. Denzel Washington and Chris Pine play two train drivers (yes, I know there are technical terms – I don’t care) who get caught up in a potential disaster. A huge train laden with dangerous chemicals is belting along the tracks towards a township, and *dramatic drum roll* only they can stop it.

The film has all the stereotypes. There’s a guy with marital problems. Another pushing retirement. A tough female who’s belittled by the powers that be. A twat of a company director.

Tony Scott‘s done a great job with what’s a very simple story. We don’t spend too much time messing around with character development when all we’re really interested in is the BIG SODDING TRAIN. There’s actually very little destruction in the film (it’s Scott, not Michael Bay after all), so it’s more in the thriller camp than an action film.

If you’ve had a tough week at work, then this is an ideal movie to go and see. Switch your brain into neutral and shovel the popcorn into your gob while Unstoppable washes over you.

London Boulevard

“Fahk awf. Cahnt.”

Plot-in-a-nutshell: Don’t make me angry. You’d not like me when I’m angry. I turn into a gangster.

A hell of a cast, this one, led by Colin Farrell as a released convict who’s expected by his peers to get back “on the game”. However, he really doesn’t want to. The local kingpin, however, has other ideas and it rather insistent.

Farrell manages to almost drop his Irish accent for this one, whereas Keira Knightley hams up her posh one playing a strung-out ex-actress. Who really needs to eat more. And wear a padded bra. Just saying, sorry. Ray Winstone is cast as the big, bad gangland lord which means he gets to swear a lot and be violent. So no typecasting so far.

My choice for best performance of the film goes to David Thewlis, who plays a wonderfully scatty friend to Knightley’s recluse. His character ranges from stoner to thug without ever seeming as if he’s acting unnaturally. Genuinely wonderful to watch.

London Boulevard flips from violence to humour to emotional and touching from scene to scene, often meaning that it seems a little jumpy. However, the story is good enough that it really doesn’t matter.

At risk of giving a spoiler (do stop reading if it worries you, just in case), the film’s similarity to Layer Cake is emphasised by the ending which is just too samey.

I enjoyed it, though. A very good story (even if it’s unoriginal), great performances and some genuine laugh out loud moments.

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