Spectacular AV performance ensures this runaway train Blu-ray is on the right track

Unstoppable finds director Tony Scott teaming up with his regular leading man Denzel Washington for yet another bout of chaos involving public transportation. Thankfully, while no cinematic classic, it’s a vast improvement on their meandering remake of The Taking of Pelham 1, 2, 3 – delivering a straight-forward rush of undemanding action movie fun that partners Washington with Chris Pine in a tale of a runaway freight train packed with deadly chemicals, inspired by a true event that occurred back in 2001. As always, while the actors do their best with fairly limited parts, it’s Scott’s wild direction that amps up the action to breaking point and delivers the film’s real excitement.

Picture: You can always tell a Tony Scott movie just by looking at it, and Unstoppable is no different. The AVC 2.40:1 1080p encode is awash with blue and green colour washes, rock solid blacks and some of the most aggressive grain structure we’ve seen on a modern film. So while it isn’t always pretty, it’s safe to say that this disc does an excellent job of perfectly replicating the intended look of the film. It also exhibits some terrific fine detailing in amongst all of the over-stylised visual flourishes, rendering pretty much every particle perfectly visible during the explosion of seed grain in Chapter 22.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Like an out of control juggernaut, Unstoppable roars onto life on Blu-ray with one of the most thrilling lossless soundtracks we’ve heard in a while. From the moment the train starts rolling the mix never lets up, constantly assaulting your ears with a barrage of expertly judged and perfectly positioned surround sound effects. Excellent sound design plays up every single creak and groan of straining metal as the train hurtles out of control, giving it a sense of personality, while no opportunity is missed when it comes to blowing you out of your seating with tightly controlled, yet devastatingly delivered bass effects. No wonder it was nominated for Best Sound Editing at this year’s Academy Awards.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: This Triple Play edition of Unstoppable arrives with the expected bonus DVD and Digital Copy of the film, as well as reasonably tasty collection of special features on the Blu-ray itself. Scott provides one of his typically chatty commentary tracks, packed with info about the development of the story and how he staged it all for the screen, although it’s a bit of a shame that neither Washington or Pine were on hand to talk about the experience from an actor’s point of view. Thankfully, this is addressed somewhat by On the Rails with the Cast and Crew, a 13min ‘roundtable’ chat with the director, Washington, Pine and Rosario Dawson as they sit around on location.

Completing the set are The Fastest Track: Unleashing Unstoppable, a pretty standard 30min Making of… doc, the 10min Derailed: Anatomy of a scene digs a little deeper into the creation of one of the film’s set-pieces, the 14min Hanging Off the Train: Stunt Work takes a closer look at some of the film’s stunts, the theatrical trailer and a BD-Live link. Best of all, the video extras are all presented in 1080p.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: Stunning picture and sound quality transforms this average action flick into a true Blu-ray superstar.

20th Century Fox, Region B/C BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now
Overall: 4/5