Talking Pelham

Denzel Washington and John Travolta are the only reasons to see this remake of The Taking of Pelham 123. Though the writing is uneven, and in several spots grating and disappointing, I found the banter between Washington's Walter Garber, a dispatcher pressed into service as a hostage negotiator by Travolta's crazed urban terrorist Ryder, quite entertaining, the best thing in the film. Conscientious performers who are given weak material often rise above the script to deliver convincing, if not award-winning performances. Such is the case here.

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