In New York, four criminals led by the smart Ryder (John Travolta) hijack the subway train Pelham 123, stopping the first car with nineteen hostages in a higher plane in the tunnel in Manhattan. Ryder calls the subway control center and the operator Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) talks to him. The abductor demands ten million dollar and gives one hour to the delivery by the City Hall. The Mayor (James Gandolfini) accepts to pay the ransom while the NYPD negotiator Camonetti (John Turturro) assumes the negotiation. However Ryder demands that Garber, who was demoted from an executive position due to the accusation of accepting kickback in the purchase business of Japanese trains, continues to be his liaison with the authorities. Within the tense hour, Ryder empathizes with Garber and asks him to bring the money to the train.
"The Taking of Pelham 123" could be a good movie, with a story with potential and great cast. Unfortunately it is spoiled due to flaws combined with the usual exaggerations of most of Hollywood action movies. There are terrible moments that really destroy the story, such as: (1) why the corrupt Garber would confess the true story of his bribery? He could have told a fantasy to satisfy Ryder and keep secret of his kickback. (2) Why the ransom was not transported by helicopter? (3)Why that imbecile girlfriend would insist on asking her boyfriend to say that he loves her in such a tense situation? (4) Even in an unusual day like that one, how could an investment be multiplied by 150 in a few hours? Two million dollars transformed in three hundred million dollar in less than two hours is simply ridiculous. (5) Why should Garber risk his life following Ryder? (6) Why should two criminals under siege of a large number of police officers and without any protection shoot their guns? (7) Garber had less than six minutes to reach the location to deliver the money and spends precious seconds talking nonsense with his wife. (8) Why would a cold blood killer like Ryder with three hundred million dollars to pay bribery pacifically surrender to Garber? I listed only some absurd and silly parts that insult the intelligence of any average viewer. Unfortunately I have not seen the original movie to make a comparison. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "O Sequestro do Metrô" ("The Hijack of the Subway Train")
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