Directed by: Tony Scott
Written by: Mark Bomback
Starring: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario Dawson, and Kevin Dunn
If you explain the basic concept of this movie (man v. physics) or any of the countless others it borrows from, people may think it sounds dull. In the movies, time is one of the biggest perpetuaters of suspense and conflict. Diffuse the bomb, rescue the falling citizen, stop the train- we’ve seen it all and then some when it comes to race against the clock movies. In the hands of a Hitchcock it can be a deadly, precise cinematic weapon. Tony Scott also knows how to utilize it with his series of fast cuts and unnerving suspense, and his characters are always racing against some kind of clock, but I don’t need to say that he’s no Hitchcock.
Here, Denzel Washington (returning from Scott’s only just-forgotten The Taking of Pelham 123) plays Frank, a 28-year blue collar railway veteran getting ready to endure a forced retirement. By his side is newbie Will (Chris Pine), a typically spunky up-and-comer who got this job because of who he knows at the top. Time makes another appearance here in this attempted generational conflict. Mediating this conflict in a command center is Connie (Rosario Dawson), who helps Will and Frank against the orders from her corporate masters.