Pelham 1 2 3 Remake: Stick With the Original

Slick remake of '70s thriller has its pluses, but fans of the original should stay away
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2009 7:21 AM CDT

(Newser) The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a slick and solid thriller, though most critics say it pales in comparison to the '70s original—even with the energy of Denzel Washington and John Travolta.

  • Liam Lacey, Toronto Globe & Mail: The New York subway heist movie is an "efficiently engineered piece of studio product, enjoyable enough at times, but with an unmistakable assembly-line quality."

  • Jim Ridley, Village Voice: Director Tony Scott's "redo comes up short in almost every regard against the '74 model—against David Shire's knuckled-brass score, against its mugs' gallery of '70s New York character actors, against Peter Stone's serrated script, and certainly against its wordless punchline."
  • Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: "There’s not much wrong with Tony Scott’s The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, except that there’s not much really right about it."