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'The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3': Good flick, but what was up with the webcam?

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 Taking-Pelham-Travolta_l [SPOILER ALERT] I just saw The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, and overall I totally agree with Lisa Schwarzbaum’s B+ review: The movie is a tight, self-aware thriller that doesn’t waste any time in getting your pulse up and keeping it there. That’s why I was so surprised to realize at the end of the film that one of its subplots — the whole webcam “say you love me” story thread — went absolutely nowhere.

Putting aside the weird logic of it (Who would try to use a webcam in a subway car?), I’m just confused by the fact that the plotline never amounted to anything in the story. Was the camera supposed to give the police secret information? Or anger the hijackers when they found out it was broadcasting the incident live to the news? Or give the guy some inside info about what was happening in the outside world? If so, those scenes ended up in the delete file and all we got were a few moments of uncomfortable comedy as the guy tries to placate his girlfriend without alarming the armed goons behind him.

To me, it felt like an awkward attempt to remind viewers that the movie — based on the 1974 classic –takes place in the now, and not the 1970’s. But a webcam? If they really wanted it to feel of-the-moment, they should’ve had the guy pull out his iPhone and start Twittering the whole thing. Or better yet, have the grade-school kid do it, since the average NYC kid nowadays could give Steve Jobs a run for his money in the tech savvy department.

So what do you think, PopWatchers: Was the webcam subplot pointless? Or was there some deeper meaning that I missed?

More ‘Taking of Pelham’:
Video: ‘Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’ reviewed by Owen Gleiberman and Lisa Schwarzbaum
Movie review: ‘The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3’

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