Denzel Washington plays a gruff, hard as nails train engineer working with a young, union connected, new to the job conductor (Chris Pine) who isn/'t quite up to snuff. As stories go Unstoppable is not terribly complicated nor is it terribly engaging. It is a pleasant distraction where the skills of Washington are hardly used and those of Pine are seemingly pushed to their thespian limits. Let/'s just say that the casting is uneven and leave it at that.
The set up is simple, if you/'ve seen the promotions then you already know, a train is under power, without an engineer and heading for certain catastrophe as the result of a fat buffoon/'s inability to do even a simple task correctly. Yes, fat buffoon, politically incorrect but let/'s face it whenever Hollywood casts a secondary character that is inept they cast someone fat - well at least fat actors are getting jobs in some roles. Fat is funny. The hero of the story of course has 5% body fat and muscles you could sharpen an axe on but that doesn/'t actually have anything to do with the story.
The balance of the cast is made up of well known character actor Kevin Dunn (Transformers, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) who plays the overweight, overstressed, over reacting regional head of the train company who doesn/'t know his ass from his elbow - why would he after years working his way up through the ranks. Then there is the compulsory risk taking, latina who is good to her people and believes in the rank and file over the bosses Rosario Dawson who plays Connie the head of the yard and technically responsible for the runaway train. If you get the sense that the movie is pat with stock characters and a story that could have been torn from any number of action adventure movies over the years (Speed and Runaway Train, come to mind) then you have an accurate sense of the movie.
Unstoppable has all the production qualities of a high end Universal Studios made for T.V. movie. That is has Denzel Washington is a bonus but it is in a role that he could have done in his sleep (though he does not sleepwalk through his part). This is definitely a watch at home movie. A good first rental and an add to your movie collection only if you are a Washington completist or someone who collects movies about trains.