Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Numbers Up for Travolta! Previews on Wednesday: The Taking of Pelham 123: Tim Oglethorpe Reports:

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Numbers Up for Travolta! Previews on Wednesday: The Taking of Pelham 123: Tim Oglethorpe Reports:

Article excerpt

JOHN Travolta is a lot more famous for his innovative work in Hollywood than he is for repeating himself.

Movies such as Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction have tended to break the mould - remakes, such as Hairspray, have been the exception to the rule of his career.

However John could not resist saying 'Yes' to THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123, a remake of a 1974 thriller in which a New York City subway train is taken over by a group of villains who demand a ransom for the safety of its passengers.

Aside from a nod to technological advances over the last 35 years and an obvious change of cast, this is Pelham 123 2, if you see what I mean, with Travolta (pictured) the leader of a group of desperados, combining ruthlessness with cunning beneath the city streets of New York.

Did John, a still youthful 55, have any qualms about going down the same rail track as famous actors such as Robert Shaw and Walter Matthau did all those years ago? "I think if a story is good it is worth telling again and again," he says.

"And this is a good story. It's the perfect atmospheric setting for a heist the dark and eerie passages of subterranean New York - and the stakes are incredibly high."

In a sense, John has been the victim of his own success, since making Pelham 123 last year in the real subways and tunnels of New York.

His performance as Ryder, the leader of the gang trying to extort millions of dollars, has already earned him much acclaim in the American media. While the character has a certain charisma, though, John is in no doubt that he is a thoroughly bad guy.

"Ryder is a very intelligent person, I'll give you that. But he is a bad man, prepared to risk - perhaps even take innocent lives in order to get what he wants. His actions are indefensible.

"That said, he is fun to play. …

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