The Taking of Pelham 123
A New York subway train leaves Pelham station at 1:23 pm and after boarding it ‘Ryder’ (John Travolta) along with three men makes the passengers their hostages. A ransom demand for $10 million is made to rail employee Walter Garber (Denzel Washington). During the conversation Garber accepts he took a $35,000 bribe to recommend a manufacturer for a contract to pay for his children’s education but that he would have taken the same decision even otherwise. For this Ryder calls Garber his hero. The motive behind the hostage crisis is its effect on the stock market where Ryder has invested and which will give him spectacular returns if he bets against the market. Garber tracks down and shoots Ryder. The Mayor says the city will support Garber in the bribery investigation.
Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) an arrogant New York publicist is married to Kelly (Radha Mitchell) and has a mistress Pam (Katie Holmes). While making a call to Pam from a public phone a pizza delivery man offers a free pizza which Stu refuses. While leaving the booth the phone rings and the caller informing Stu that he is a sniper tells him to admit to Kelly and not leave the booth. The sniper shoots a pimp sparking off panic and the cops (who believe Stu has a gun) and Pam and Kelly come to the crime scene. While Stu plays out his part the cops trace the call and find the body of the pizza delivery man. As he is given sedatives by a medical team the caller (Kiefer Sutherland) tells Stu he regrets killing the delivery man and that he will return if Stu does not remain honest.
At the hospital John Quincy (Denzel Washington) and wife Denise (Kimberly Elise) are told that their son Michael (Daniel Smith) needs an expensive operation to survive. The firm where John works has changed the insurance policy which does not cover the expense and the hospital decides to discharge Michael. Left with no option John takes hostages and demands that his son be put on the donor recipient list. The hostages within the hospital and the crowd outside it empathise with John. He reveals his intention to commit suicide so that his heart can save his son. As John prepares to end his life, his wife stops him and reveals that a woman elsewhere died in a crash and has the same blood group like Michael. At John’s trial, all the witnesses speak on his behalf and he gets a reduced sentence.
After being sacked when museum employee and family man Sam (John Travolta) confronts his ex-boss, she sends him over the edge with her caustic behaviour. With a shotgun and dynamite Sam takes hostages and demands his old job. But TV journalist Max Brackett (Dustin Hoffman) along with intern Laurie (Mia Kirshner) uses the Sam story as an exclusive. Is getting the story the same as getting the truth? Max and Laurie are willing to do whatever it takes to further their own careers. Sam even lets out the hostages and wants to return to his family but the situation spirals out of control and the cops give him a five-minute ultimatum so he sets off the dynamite killing himself. Max says, “We killed him,” referring to media’s mishandling of this situation.
In this comedy flick, whenever Chazz (Brendan Fraser), Rex (Steve Buscemi) and Pip (Adam Sandler) of rock band ‘The Lone Rangers’ give producers a demo tape, they get turned down. So when they hear about the local rock station KPPX ‘Rebel Radio’ which had helped another band get a record deal they decide to try their luck. They decide to force an entry using an ATM card etc. When all fails, using plastic water pistols they take the radio station hostage so that it plays their music. In a hilarious scene after taking a look at the band name the radio station’s DJ Ian (Joe Mantegna) says, “There’s three of you. That’s not exactly lone.” To this Pip says, “No idea what you’re saying right now.” While in jail the band records a soundtrack which becomes a major hit.