With the likes of Denzel Washington, John Travolta and James Gandolfini on board, The Taking Of Pelham 123 promises to be a helluva ride.

Sadly, the trio has little to sink their teeth into in what proves to be an average hostage drama.

A pale imitation of the 1974 film of the same name, Pelham 123 takes us beneath New York where a subway train is hijacked by gun-wielding thugs led by the unhinged Ryder (Travolta).

Thrust into the role of hostage negotiator is dispatcher Walter Garber (Washington) who, along with the city’s mayor (an under-used Gandolfini), engages in a game of cat and mouse with an enemy that has bad mood swings and even worse facial hair.

Plot wise Pelham 123, directed by Tony Scott, never goes anywhere, and it’s up to Washington and Travolta to hold our attention with some spicy dialogue.

The two heavy-weights shoot from the lip about arse models, what it means to be Catholic and how difficult it is taking a dump in prison – but it doesn’t make up for a stale storyline.

Good for: People who don’t mind seeing top talent wasted.