"Travolta is back with a bang mother f*cker"

A remake of a film based on novel. It doesn't sound like the best basis for a film - remakes are often poor imitations of the original, and big screen book conversions are generally pants.

Now I'm totally naive when it comes to all previous versions of this story, but god damn I'm a fan of this latest incarnation.  Packed with action, tension, and a thick dollop of humour, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is a cracking return to the action genre for John Travolta who plays the potty mouthed and slightly unhinged Ryder, ably assisted by Denzel Washington, aka Walter Garber, who unwittingly finds himself thrust into the midst of a hostage situation.

Demanding $10m dollars, and with a subway train full of hostages, the story twists and turns as Ryder's real motive becomes apparent.  Real credit must go to Brian Helgeland for his screenplay.  It's very difficult to successfully translate a book to the big screen, but Helgeland and director Tony Scott pull it off magnificently.  The production of the film oozes quality - the pace is fantastic, and superbly complemented by the sound track and cinematography which combine to drive you onwards towards the conclusion like an out of control subway train.

There are a lot of massive releases this summer, and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 is going to have a lot of competition on its hands if it wants to steal the headlines.  Luckily then, it's not just a case of style over substance (as some of the summer blockbusters are sure to be) - this is a seriously enjoyable action film - lots of bang for your buck and a cracking story to match.