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Denzel Washington, The Taking of Pelham 123
Credit: Rico Torres

The Taking of Pelham 123

Movie lovers have inexplicably strong ? attachments to certain films. Take 1974’s The Taking of Pelham One Two Three — a caper set in NYC when it was apparently a cesspool populated by slobby civil servants like Walter Matthau. Tony Scott’s slick remake, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, scraps everything but the crackerjack premise: A psycho hijacks a subway train, holding passengers for ransom. Where the original was silly, Scott’s take is suspenseful, due in part to Denzel Washington’s weary dispatcher and John Travolta’s neck-tattooed baddie. EXTRAS include making-of featurettes and a chatty commentary from Scott, who calls the original ”dumb.” B+

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