Published: 25 November, 2010
by DAN CARRIER
Directed by Tony Scott
DENZEL Washington stars alongside Chris Pine in this disaster movie that develops along classic lines – think the Poseidon Adventure, Towering Inferno et al. And, as so often is the case in this genre, it’s a big fat muck up involving a public transport system.
The story is simple: a newly recruited railyard worker fails to do his job properly and the result is a very large and fast train careering down the tracks, with such innocent victims as a school trip waiting to be squashed unless our hero can do something about it.
The choices are: derail it in the middle of nowhere and cost the train company a few squillion dollars, or go for plan B, which will put squillions of innocents at risk.
But wait! Before disaster strikes, an ageing salt-of-the-earth railwayman is on hand (Washington) and giving chase in an engine of his very own.
While it is more predictable than Tube delays, it’s all good fun. The trains offer a cranking, huffing and wheezing vehicle for the hero to leap around on, and this has clearly cost a pretty little fortune to make. High production values abound, and Washington is a great lead.
Directed by William Monahan
SET in London, this film tells the story of a reclusive movie star holed up in a Holland Park mansion, hiding from life, and taking on a good looking bodyguard to keep the world at bay. Our heroine hires this ex-con to do the job, but finds herself becoming more and more attracted to the tough guy.
However, the course of true love fails to run smoothly as this handyman has nasty characters in his past who still have some knee-capping issues to deal with.
Based on the novel by Ken Bruen, London Boulevard stars Colin Farrell, Ray Winstone and Keira Knightley, and shows a rather Richard Curtis-style city that you may not instantly recognise.
Now for some harsh words: Keira Knightley appears time and again in big budget films, yet I always wonder how her scenes do not end up on the cutting room floor.
Her bankability is guaranteed so it seems her career is unstoppable, no matter how poor she is.
She trades on her fame and cheekbones. This film does nothing to undo my prejudice.