All John Travolta's Dialogue In Pelham 1 2 3 Could Easily Have Been Spoken By Cartman
I caught Tony Scott's insipid The Taking of Pelham 123 the other night, and while our full review is forthcoming, I thought it might be interesting to note how absurd John Travolta's bad guy character "Ryder"* is. He plays a tattoo-necked thug who's served hard time but [GIANT SPOILER ALERT] is actually a convicted Wall St. trader (HOLLYWOOD'S NEW ENEMY™). He's looking for a novel way to make a buck by taking a subway train hostage and using that terrorist act to leverage the markets. Luckily, a passenger's laptop webcam is on the whole time, and the signal works hundreds of feet beneath Manhattan, so MTA headquarters can monitor the entire thing as it plays itself out. Not that any of this affects the plot in the least.
Yes, it's as stupid as it sounds. No, actually, it's way more stupid than it sounds. Luckily, there are constant title cards reminding us that there's "63 MINUTES LEFT....48 MINUTES LEFT...17 MINUTES LEFT" on Ryder*'s ransom deadline; more than ratcheting the non-tension, they provide a handy reminder of how much longer you have to sit in the theater.
Worst of all, however, is the dialogue Travolta is required to utter, which makes him sound more like an obnoxious 13-year-old than an actual, imposing adult threat of any kind. Here's some choice lines. (I didn't write any of these down, so they may be off by a word or two, but I've captured the general tone and language.)
· "Lick my bunghole!!!"
· "Ooh, he has a sexy voice. I'd make him my bitch if we were in prison!!!"
· "I'm going to fuck you in the ass so hard!!!"
Etc., etc. Awesome dialogue, if this movie starred the cast of South Park and Travolta's part was played by Cartman. Now that I mention it, that would have been awesome. As it stands, Pelham 123 can lick my bunghole.
*NOT HIS REAL NAME.