After directing films like Deja Vu, Spy Game, Enemy of the State and Crimson Tide, it’s clear that Tony Scott knows the formula for an exciting action film. His pacing prowess is the heart of the new thriller Unstoppable, a film that has so many plot holes that it resembles a block of Swiss cheese. Scott has cast Denzel Washington in quite a few of his films, including The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, Deja Vu, Man on Fire and Crimson Tide, so it’s no surprise to find Denzel in the lead role of Unstoppable.
Though the film is fundamentally about the runaway train and the various attempts to stop it, derail it or otherwise get an engineer on board before there’s a disaster, even mediocre films need backstories for the characters, so we learn that Colson is barred from seeing his wife and son because of a restraining order against him. While domestic violence is a serious issue – particularly when it includes threatening a police officer with a gun – it’s never addressed and ends up being the offense against which he redeems himself by his heroic subsequent actions.