Sunday, June 12, 2011


I avoided Unstoppable for months, presuming it was another in a long line of skimpy-plotted action thrillers designed to give audiences more ka-boom than substance.

I was wrong.

Unstoppable, a story about the efforts of two men attempting to stop a runaway train, is really a movie about redemption. A story about overcoming challenges -- like a runaway train, or the difficulties life throws at you -- not for the notoriety that comes with heroism, but because you have to.

Because it's the right thing to do.

Denzel Washington and Chris Pine are excellent as two every-men who find themselves in a remarkable situation. Each has personal problems so significant no one would blame them if they clocked out and had a cup of coffee while others attempted to stop the train. The recognize they are in a position to help, and do so selflessly.

Because it's the right thing to do.

Unstoppable was inspired by a real-life chase after a runaway freight train in 2001. The film gives terrific insight into how such an accident could easily occur to those like me who know next-to-nothing about the railroad business. And it makes me curious what I'd do if I found myself in such a situation: clock out and watch, or lend a hand because it's the right thing to do.

I'm not sure.

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