THIS film has credentials. It stars the generally solid, Oscar-winning, Denzel Washington and a lengthy co-starring role for the sublime James Gandolfini ( The Sopranos) . Director Tony Scott has caught my eye since his early directorial days of True Rom

THIS film has credentials. It stars the generally solid, Oscar-winning, Denzel Washington and a lengthy co-starring role for the sublime James Gandolfini ( The Sopranos) .

Director Tony Scott has caught my eye since his early directorial days of True Romance and Crimson Tide.


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This remake of a 1974 cult feature has a script written by the brilliant Brian Helgeland, whose arsenal of screenplays includes LA Confidential.

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I'll be catching the London Underground to work. I'll stand, tired at the platform and prepare for my 15 minute journey in to the centre of the city.

And now, thanks to the glorious thrills of The Taking Of Pelham 123, I'm going to have to research a bus route in.

A bad man (John Travolta) takes over an Underground train in New York, stops it in a tunnel, chats to the man in the metro control room (Washington) about getting $10 million to him in an hour.

This plays out in pretty much the exact way you'd expect. It has the inevitability of being one of the staple thriller movies we so often see during Action Movie Season on television.

But it is a good movie. If you are a fan of Phone Booth or Die Hard With A Vengeance, this should be right up your street.

We don't see many explosions and gunshots. It's mainly about the tender but masculine relationship between the two leads. This is probably the best thing Travolta has done this decade .

A problem is that it is predictable throughout. But it was certainly watchable, the script and direction were fairly strong and there aren't any massive, grating flaws. You will go in knowing exactly what to expect and you won't be wrong - but it's the unashamedly predictable nature of this genre that makes it a success. With all the trouble and strife on screen , you can sit-back, relax and not be challenged intellectually at all.

VERDICT: Three out of five