Needless to say, filmmakers were interested not in the dry figures of statistics and destruction, but in the opposition of man and the elements, man and technology. In American cinema, humanity (both in the global and local understanding of this term) is constantly in need of salvation. From the invasion of zombies, from the invasion of aliens, from infections, from the cosmic threat in the form of meteorites and the destruction of the ozone layer, from parasite beetles, Russian spies and elephant-like monsters.
However, more often, people are deprived of their own stupidity, greed and disorder. And then bridges collapse, airplanes fall, oil stains spread, or, as in the recent fast-moving action “Uncontrollable” directed by Tony Scott, the huge multi-tonnial train departs and takes off, crushing everything in its path.
... As it often happens, small missteps pull large tragedies behind them. If you overturned a cup of coffee on your favorite keyboard and could not finish the annual report in time, then it is unlikely that someone will part with life because of your clumsiness (although the chain of consequences is usually unpredictable). But what can happen if the two gouging, who just had to drive a freeway to the siding of the railway, forget to turn on the pneumatic brakes and leave the locomotive to quickly switch the arrow? It will happen, friends, a “little” nuisance: an enormous squad, rushing uncontrollably through densely populated areas of the state of Pennsylvania towards their fate.
This fate is unenviable. A freight train with a “happy” sequence number 777, without brakes and with the engine turned on, rushes to the city of Stanton (honestly, I did not find this settlement on the map of Pennsylvania; apparently, the name is fictitious). At first, all those in charge (stern manager Galvin (Kevin Dunn) and Connie (Rosario Dawson) who obeys him) take what happened as a matter of course. However, when it turns out that the train is moving at a cruising speed, and in a few cars, extremely flammable and combustible matter is quietly lapping, the situation begins to slip out of control.
On the path of a fast-moving locomotive, by coincidence, the most experienced driver Frank (Denzel Washington) and his partner, a fledgling conductor Will (Chris Pine), who was at the helm of a diesel locomotive for the first time. The management of the company gently pushes Frank to early retirement, and Will strongly quarreled with his wife. Each of them has its own problems, which are mixed with professional friction. Therefore, when the 777th loomed on the horizon, Frank and Will still do not know that it is their heroic trick that will help save the town of Stanton from large-scale destruction and human casualties ...
Of course, I’m not even close to the railroad, and I use this mode of transport quite rarely. Therefore, I do not presume to judge unequivocally about the adequacy and correctness of decisions taken during the emergency by the characters in the film. Nevertheless, many of these actions seem to me, if not absurd, then at least strange. The most obvious way to stop the rushing headlong composition is the option that, in the end, and was carried out in the final film. The devil was doing everything else, including risking many lives, inventing exotic tricks, I find it difficult to answer.
However, all these questions and inconsistencies in the plot of the film come to mind only after viewing the picture. The talent of the director and the film crew of “Uncontrollable” lies in the fact that the viewer is not given a minute to reason, forcing him to stare hard at the screen, where each frame is filled with action. Concerned people follow each other, the train roars and rushes, ordinary people show the wonders of heroism. The ball is ruled by His Majesty Action.
Tony Scott, the younger brother of the more eminent Ridley Scott, has always been famous not so much for his ability as for his desire to make a quality and impeccable movie. But he was constantly in the way of something. The hit “The best shooter”, despite the impressive fees, was blamed for excessive sentimentality and melodramatization; the sequel “Beverly Hills Policeman” was criticized for lack of drive of the original, “Last Boy Scout” for stereotyped. Tony Scott has never taken off significant tapes in his career, but in Hollywood he is considered to be a strong professional who knows his business.
This is the fifth collaboration of Scott and the great actor Denzel Washington. Before that, there were “Crimson Tide”, “Anger”, “Deja Vu” and last year's “Dangerous passengers of train 123”. None of these films has become a landmark for Washington, however, either out of respect for the director, or out of a feeling of mutual sympathy, the actor continues to work with him.
Washington looks decent everywhere, and as a seasoned machinist, widower and father of two daughters, and even more so. His game is so authentic that you directly feel how he drove trains in the previous 28 years. Mean, but precise gestures, like on the notes verified facial expressions. His partner in the frame, young Chris Pine, could only play along in time and try not to fall face in the dirt. What he, in general, succeeded.
Of course, that schematically “Uncontrollable” is a completely predictable and typically Hollywood act. Heroes of the people, a stereotypically blatant boss, a fussy but personal dispatcher-manager, women sobbing in front of television screens, inhibited representatives of the police and enthusiastic shouts of “Yes! Yes! ”Sitting in front of monitors extras. This whole set of cliches is simply transmitted from film to film, undergoing only cosmetic changes.
Why are these tapes still being filmed and popular with the viewer? Yes, because - this is the quintessence of cinema. It’s not for nothing that the Lumière brothers in their 48-second classic “Arrival of a Train” portrayed not an impressively sleeping conductor or a grasshopper jumping on the tracks, but an impressive steam locomotive. Movies are primarily moving pictures. And if they move actively, filling every moment with anxious expectation and a feeling of involvement in the process, that illusion is created for which we are ready to spend hours looking at the vicissitudes of someone else’s life, sympathize with fictional characters and rejoice at their invented happiness.