Film Review – Unstoppable

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Unstoppable. I mean, it’s a train, on a track.. right? How exciting could it get without Steven Seagal and his ponytail knife-fighting up and down the length of it?

As it turns out, the correct answer is ‘plenty’.

Unstoppable opens with a look into Chris Pine’s character’s life- crashing on his brother’s couch while he works through a rough patch in his marriage. It shows more than it says, but it’s enough to set him as no one particularly special. As he drags himself into work, miles away in another trainyard, two train hostlers get badgered into moving a massive freight train, the 777, to a new siding to make way for a school field trip coming through. But an error in judgement, fuelled by apathy, sees the 777 transformed from a workhorse and into a raging monster as its enormous mass begins picking up speed.

As word of the danger posed by the train and its deadly cargo spreads, media attention zooms in on the looming disaster, and good use if made of cut-ins of media footage to show what’s happening outside of the train cab and trainyard office- it’s a clever way to cover what’s happening from a new viewpoint, but one that’s immediately familiar to everyone.

I really like that Frank the veteran driver, and Will the newbie are both normal guys, with all the baggage that goes with that. They don’t set out to be heroes, they’re just guys who are dropped into an extraordinary situation and try and do the right thing, and their dynamic strengthens as the very real possibility of their death draws them out of their respective shells. The tension is taken up notch by notch as the 777 hurtles towards a large town, its deadly cargo threatening a monumental catastrophe. There’s no let up, just a palpable sense of rushing against the clock (all the action takes place within two hours, making it almost real time) and the 99 minute running time whizzes past.

Unstoppable is a gripping old school action thriller- tense and fast, and made all the more satisfying for the lack of CGI.  Well worth a watch!

More from the world of Geek Syndicate


  1. I suspected this would be good.Nice to hear I was right.

  2. It’s predictable, and by-the-numbers, but for the time it goes on, its fun, but it should have hit harder. Nice post, check out my review when you can!

%d bloggers like this: