Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Taking of Pelham 123

(Tony Scott / 2009)

Here is where absolutes meet uncertainties. John Travolta (in perhaps my favorite performance of his) somehow embodies these contradictions. He has layers, but Scott refrains from revealing them all. We still don't who or what he is. We know he's a crook and he wants money, lots and lots of money, but Scott gets that out of the way up front. He isn't secretly fighting for anything we can pin down (a reverse Hans Gruber) and yet his rebellion against the world is strangely felt.

The term terrorist is comically thrown about to mean anything by whomever employs the word. I can't help but find this somewhat of a joke at the expense of American political discourse.

Scott depicts seemingly endless relative temporal realities within single shots, which add up to a film about time where multiple experiences exist as pockets within a somewhat cohesive forward momentum.

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