Tony Scott and Denzel Washington, a pairing in Hollywood that has just completed their fifth outing together. In honour of Unstoppable, their latest project together, let’s take a look back at their past projects. From Crimson Tide to Deja Vu to Unstoppable, the duo has made some good and not so good films. Join us as we recap their collection of films.
Their relationship began back in 1995 with the submarine thriller Crimson Tide. Washington starred alongside Gene Hackman and the film went on to pull in a respectable $157 million. The film, like most of Scott’s films, received mediocre reviews but still managed to please crowds. In my opinion, it’s one of the better Scott/Washington films but far from the best.
Washington and Hackman both give great performances and the film is truly thrilling at times. The film went onto earn three Academy Award nominations for Editing, Sound and Sound Editing but it didn’t manage to win in any of the categories.
I actually watched the film recently and 15 years later, it still manages to come across as an effective and exciting thriller. It was the first Scott/Washington production and a solid example of what the duo could accomplish.
After Crimson Tide, Denzel and Tony took a bit of a break and would not re-unite until 2004 when they came together to create Man On Fire. Man On Fire is considered by most to be their best film but it just didn’t do much for me. It’s not their worst but it didn’t impress me.
It told the story of Denzel’s character Creasy, a bodyguard for a rich family in Mexico. He’s hired to protect the family’s nine year old daughter, Pita, played by Dakota Fanning. When the daughter is kidnapped, Creasy takes it upon himself to find the kidnappers and rescue her.
Pulling in $133 million worldwide, the film pleased fans and moviegoers alike. It offered a gritty and exciting action film in which Denzel got to show his badass side, much like he did in Training Day. It was entertaining for the most part, but a bit overrated, it also could have been a lot shorter.
The next film for the duo would be what many would consider their worst. In 2006 they teamed up for Deja Vu, a disappointing, ill-contrived and poorly executed film. Sure it pulled in $180 million but the messy time travelling film failed to please me.
It started off interestingly enough as Denzel play an ATF agent who travels back in time so he can stop a terrorist attack and save the woman he loves. This is a film where you’re going to have to really use your suspension of belief. It’s hard to follow and nothing really adds up or makes sense. It’s frustrating at times to watch and despite some nice action scenes and Denzel’s star power, this film left me with a bitter feeling towards the duo.
After the clumsy Deja Vu, the duo teamed back up in 2009 to make what is personally my favorite Scott/Washington film. Based on the 1974 film of the same name, The Taking Of Pelham 123 starred Washington alongside Travolta and it turned out to be one hell of a ride.
The film was intense and thrilling and Travolta always kills it in villain roles, well except maybe for Battlefield: Earth. Washington played Walter Garber, a MTA employee who is working at the Rail Control Center when he gets a call from a mysterious man named Ryder (Travolta).
Turns out Ryder has hijacked a subway train and intends on killing everyone on it unless his demands (a payment of $10 million) are met. Stating he’ll only deal with Garber, Washington and Travolta duke it out through the film in a battle of wits as Garber tries to stop Ryder from carrying out his plan.
While it failed to impress critics, the $150 million box office intake was enough to ensure Scott and Washington would team up again and not only would they team up again, but they would be back on the tracks in another train movie.
Releasing this weekend is their latest film, Unstoppable. Co-starring Chris Pine, Unstoppable once again has Denzel trying to prevent a disaster involving a train. An unmanned half mile long freight train, full of combustible liquids and poisonous gas, is barreling towards a city and it’s up to Washington and Pine to stop it before it wipes out the city. While it’s gaining pretty favorable reviews, how will it be remembered? Will it go down as one of the better Scott/Washington productions?
So there you have it, a quick little recap of the works of Washington and Scott. While there have been some hiccups along the way, for the most part, Scott and Washington make a good team. Scott has a unique visual style and Washington is one of the best actors currently working in Hollywood. Hopefully they’ll continue to make films together.
What’s your favorite film from the duo? Let us know in the comments.