Calling Pelham 1 2 3

The Washington and Travolta roles were played the first time around by Walter Matthau and Robert Shaw. They fit into them naturally. Matthau in particular had a shaggy charm I am nostalgic for. Shaw brought cold steel to his performance. Denzel is ... nice. Sincere. Wants to clear his name. Travolta is so ruthless, it comes across as more peremptory than evil. Since time immemorial, Vehicular Disaster Epics have depended on colorful and easily remembered secondary passengers: Nuns with guitars, middle-aged women with swimming medals, a pregnant woman about to go into labor, etc.