The Runaway Train
Heading via late night train to drop his son Max (Joshua Kaynama) off with his grandparents so that he can attend an emergency at work, widowed Dr. Lewis Shaler (Dougray Scott) ends up in conversation with events promoter Sarah Barwel (Kara Tointon) after Max accidentally causes her to spill coffee over her coat. But things take a turn for the strange when at one stop Lewis appears to see a man working on the trains brakes and when he goes to speak to the guard he seems to have disappeared. With the train flying through various stations it appears that the train is out of control and the passengers are going to have to find a way of stopping it.
At 20 minutes into "Last Passenger" I could not tell where this movie was going, I knew because I had read a review which gave everything away, but up to that point this movie gives very little away. As such I didn't know whether this was going to be a classic thriller where we have a person disappearing and are widowed doctor trying to solve what has happened or whether or not we had another movie where we have an unstoppable train heading for a crash with a group of passengers, a varied bunch, trying to prevent disaster. As such I have to applaud director Omid Nooshin for doing this even though it does feel a little drawn out with needless conversation between Lewis and Sarah.
But then you realise, "Last Passenger" is a bit of both as we have some mystery with a missing guard and tension between some of the passengers. But then we also have this speeding train seemingly heading for disaster thanks to someone who has taken over the driver's position. Now I am not going to reveal more but will say that those behind the movie certainly have drawn on both classic thrillers as well as disaster movies to draw you in to what feels familiar yet surprisingly engaging, putting in mystery when it comes to the characters as well as the use of sudden noises to create fright before coming up with some action as well.
The one problem I have with "Last Passenger" is that the characters mostly lack depth, yes we learn that Lewis is a widowed doctor whilst Sarah split from her boyfriend a while back but they still end up an anonymous bunch with some seemingly there as nothing but filler and annoying as well.
What this all boils down to is that "Last Passenger" certainly does a nice job of combining classic on the train thriller with some disaster movie elements. But it is undone by the characters who despite many a scene which attempts to build depth end up both anonymous and annoying.