Movie Reviews this week looks at the suspense thriller The Taking of Pelham 123. It stars Denzel Washington (Training day) as Walter Garber, as he puts it a "lowly public sector employee" looking after the trains that run through the intersections at New York, except this day he didn't know what he was getting himself into when he puts his socks on this morning.
It also stars John Travolta (Pulp fiction) as Ryder , straight out of prison and looking to for some kind of revenge on the City of New York. He and his accomplices Phil Ramos played by Luis Guzman (Traffic) and Bashkim played by Victor Gojcaj manage flix tor to hijack Pelham 123, so called because it arrives at Pelham at precisely 1:23 p.m. As Walter's job this day is operating the trains (it turns out he has been demoted penning an investigation if he took a bribe) so it is left to Walter to bargain with Ryder for the lives of the several passengers on board, while Ryder asks the City of New York via it's mayor placed pretty well by James Gandolfini (The Sopranos), it turns out Ryder wants $10 million dollars and one cent after making Walter calculate what the current rate is for the "commodities" on the train, Ryder says he wants $10 million dollars, Walter sarcastically asks him about the one cent, and he says Walter can keep it as a broker's fee.
In comes a special Hostage Negotiator Camonetti played by John Turturro (You don't mess with the Zohan), there is a particular well made scene, where Walter is told he has done a good job, while Camonetti takes over negotiating with Ryder, that leads to some disastrous consequences.
Walter is chased and brought back to negotiating per Ryder's request and as the two get to know a little about each other, Ryder asks why he is doing control work for the trains, Walter explains he has been demoted pending an investigation, what follows is a brilliantly shot scene, where Walter is made to confess in front of the Mayor, his boss, and all his colleagues that he did take the bribe, how he did it and what he used the money for, or else hostages would be killed, at first the audience is not sure if the confession was on the spur of the moment to save lives, but from Walter's expression it seems genuine.