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Déjà Vu All Over Again

Having yet to see the original 1974 film, I can’t say that I’m at all up in arms over this remake, The Taking of Pelham 123, starring Denzel Washington and John Travolta, and directed by Washington’s frequent co-pilot Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Deja Vu, and Man on Fire, as well as the non-Denzel flicks The Last Boy Scout, Domino, and Enemy of the State). The original is said to be greatness, so into my Netflix queue it goes, and I know that many who love the hell out of that one aren’t too pleased about this new take.

Since I’m totally objective on this one, I can’t say that I’m too mad at this trailer. Looks every bit like Tony Scott’s other films—full of quick camera cuts, flashing lights, kinetic action/violence, and the such. John Travolta seems horribly miscast to me, though; the days of me buying the fat-lady from Hairspray as a badass villain are long gone (remember Face/Off, by the way? That movie was great times). “My man” Denzel looks as reliable as ever, on the other hand, and it’s great to see my local Bergen County, New Jersey hero James Gandolfini doing it big still, post-Sopranos‘ final episode blackout. The general subway-suspense premise is tapping into my metropolitan sensibilities nicely, and the radio back-and-forth between Washington and Travolta sounds cool.

I’m in, it seems. This has tons of potential. Who knows? Maybe Travolta kills this one (“kill” meaning good, not “kill” meaning bad), or I watch the original and go gaga over it so much that I re-watch this trailer and become infuriated. Seems the original is much more restrained while still providing slick action in bulk, rather than the convulsive feel that this trailer (and Tony Scott’s involvement) promise.

The Taking of Pelham 123 (opening on June 12)

For comparison’s cause…..here’s the trailer for the original, called The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (spelled out numbers….see the difference?):

Okay, based off the trailers alone…..I already like the original better. I’m a 1970s-filmmaking lover, which explains most, but it just looks ten times tougher, if you ask me.

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