The trailer for the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123 is out. Trailers are of course a bad way to judge a movie (usually the movie is much duller), but this one has us already missing the 1974 original (which you can see on Hulu) very badly. Here’s a checklist:
Lt. Garber 1974: Walter Matthau, rumpled as hell yet totally on top of things. Lt. Garber 2009: Denzel Washington in an apparent fat-suit, yet still Denzel Washington, so obviously invincible though conflicted.
Head Hijacker 1974: Robert Shaw, eerily calm, glasses-and-mustache, leads multicultural crew through force of intellect, psychological manipulation and sudden ruthless violence. Head Hijacker 2009: John Travolta, ebullient and buff and creepy-charming. Has assistance, but looks like more of a lone wolf.
The Mayor 1974: Whiny Ed Koch lookalike stuck in bed with a bad cold. The Mayor 2009: James Gandolfini, running through the streets. No clues as to his behaviors, but they are expected to be gritty and urban in the now traditional manner (e.g., swears).
Other bad sign: Travolta to Washington: “You’re just like me!”
So this will probably suck.