“…The Last Friend I’ll Ever Make”

Tony Scott‘s The Taking of Pelham 123 (Sony, 6.12) with Denzel Washington as Walter Matthau, John Travolta as Robert Shaw and James Gandolfini as the mayor. Doesn’t seem radically revisionist. Half Scott, half Joseph Sargent.

25 thoughts on ““…The Last Friend I’ll Ever Make”

  1. Dan Revill on said:

    For a needless remake, it’s a decent trailer.

  2. Is John Travolta taking styling tips from Julian on “TRAILER PARK BOYS” or what? I kept looking for a rum and coke in his hand the entire time.

  3. Watching this trailer, all I could think about is all the talk shows and stuff Denzel’s character would have to endure if he survived this ordeal. Interviews with Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, etc. They’d probably even have him toss the coin at the Super Bowl.

  4. Decent trailer, but it could go either way. It doesn’t look as overcooked as a lot of Scott’s work, but the personal stuff concerns me. One of the many beauties of the original was that it didn’t get sidetracked by the characters’ personal lives. It was all plot, with short, sharp character brushstrokes that gave us everything we needed to know about Matthau, Shaw, etc. The worst part of the trailer is that bit between Denzel and his wife. I cringe everytime I hear her tell him they need milk. And what exactly is the point of his response? It’s not funny, just lame.

  5. Yeah, I agree about the milk business. I get it — she’s trying to assure herself that he’ll be back and everything will be okay — but it defuses the tension, at least in the trailer. (Plus, we can’t have the audience thinking he’s gay.)

    Travolta doesn’t scare me the way Shaw does. It’s his voice. I can see that he’s supposed to be a different kind of character, less cold and more of a loose cannon. But even with the tough guy makeup, he doesn’t do it for me. We’ll have to settle for being frightened because we see him kill people on screen rather than him being inherently intimidating. Shaw was just a badass, period.

    Well, at least it’s not Cage.

    The car crashes are much bigger and more impressive. Who’d have guessed?

    I’ll wait for the reviews. It’s gotta get over eighty on RT before I’ll consider going.

  6. FUCK YEAH, PURE OWNAGE.

    GREATEST DIRECTOR IN THE WORLD, looks FUCKING AWESOME.

    Only complaint is it seems to be mainstream “best behavior” Tony, a la Crimson Tide and Deja Vu. Nothing wrong with that, but I kinda prefer his manic, artier, half-Eurotrash, half-garish bad taste fever dream flicks like The Hunger, Revenge, Man on Fire, The Fan and Domino. When he’s REALLY pumped up and insane and aggressive and creates this gaudy, sordid kaleidoscope of amped-up hostility.

    This just seems like straightforward thriller moviemaking, and is such, it’s probably THE movie of the summer for me… but hope he goes all-out on the next one.

  7. You prefer The Fan??

    To what, exactly? Paul Blart? Smelling a steaming turd in a dumpster?

    I was right there with you on The Hunger, but you really lost me there.

  8. The Fan is awesome because it’s one of the most aggro, hostile, jacked-up movies imaginable. Every single moment in it, even the most minor of character interactions, are rife with misanthropy, excessive profanity, and thudding soundtrack cues. It’s a movie in which absolutely everyone is a hateful scumbag… in other words, despite its hilarious Brit-directed cluelessness about the sport at hand, it is as accurate depiction a depiction of the modern world and the true nature of ALL PEOPLE (hostile assholes) as has ever been put to screen.

    Plus that bit where Del Toro gets stabbed in the sauna and gives this “What the fuck?” look as he bleeds out is some great acting, and then Scott amps up the lunacy by blasting that “I WANNA FUCK YOU” NIN music cue on the soundtrack.

    That’s the very definition of OWNAGE and anyone who can’t man up to that scene is a weak pussy.

  9. I actually really like John Travolta, but the degree to which he has less gravitas than Robert Shaw is absurd. I don’t believe he’d kill anybody.

  10. Also Lex I agree with everything you said on THE FAN, but I can’t get behind the film because DeNiro is so terrible in it. Also it’s one of the mid-90s movies I blame for somehow costing Wesley his A-list status. Which I hope he gets back. The world needs Snipes, now more than ever.

  11. What will be remembered of Denzel’s career in 50 years? I’d say he is the Clarke Gable of his generation, but he doesn’t even have a Gone With The Wind on his resume. A couple near classics; Crimson Tide, Glory, X. None of which approach Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Pulp Fiction in the cannon of films that will live on. Yet i imagine that some would believe that Denzel and his two Oscars has had the better career.

    (Comparison of the second tiers is close; Urban Cowboy, Blowout, FaceOff, Civil Action, Primary Colors against American Gangsters, Training Day, Philadelphia, Siege. But really, these will hardly be viewed in 50 years.)

  12. No way it’s going to come close to surpassing the original. Gotta agree with everyone above that he does not convey anywhere near the menace of Robert Shaw. He made it seem effortless.Travolta psychotically blowing away innocent passengers will not change that impression. On a somewhat related subject, does anyone know when the remaster of the original will be out on dvd- when this is released in theatres or not until the end of the year when it comes out on dvd? That is one I would like to add to my collection.

  13. John Huston said remake the bad films, not the good ones. And to remake this film in the post 9/11 world seems a bit distasteful to me, particularly when the NYC Metro system is subject to an imminent terrorist attack. The original worked will because it reflected the cultural malaise of the Vietnam era. Shaw was a kind of anti-hero. This version just feels a bit discordant to the current economic/post 9/11 world. Why this movie? Why now? With all of Tony Scott’s resources and talent you think he’d try to do something a little more interesting and relevant.

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