Knee-jerk review: "The Taking of Pelham 123"

1. Denzel Washington and John Travolta are bona fide movie stars. They know what they're doing and are so fun to watch. Everyone else just needs to stay out of their way.
2. Surprisingly not a lot of traditional shoot-em-up action here. Mostly sweaty tension and tough-guy dialogue. In fact, what action is present, especially at the end, feels a little forced.
3. "You may be the last friend I ever make."
4. Solid through and through, but not especially memorable.
5. Love that Denzel's character isn't the angel you expect in a summer popcorn movie hero. Ditto his pudgy mid-section.
6. We wouldn't like a rat crawling up our pants leg either.
7. We're still not convinced whether or not James Gandolfini is a good actor. He always seems to be doing a variation on Tony Soprano.
8. Not sure why director Tony Scott kept using that lame step-frame photography effect. It was more distracting than energizing.
9. In the end, we were hoping for more.

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