Movie Review-Man on the Train

Plot- The Americanized version of the 2002 French Film L’homme Du Train is basically the same premise with different actors. Donald Sutherland plays the recluse/sheltered professor and Larry Mullen Jr. ( From U2) plays the career criminal, and this drama is about a friendship that emerges between the two.

Review-The title of this film and the premise would have you think this is going to be some crime drama or intense thriller. You would be mistaken, this is more of two people just sitting down and talking a lot. Like two desperate souls who were destined to meet and have a lot of banter amongst them. Now knowing what you are getting into with this film, it was not as bad as it sounds, but it is pretty long at times and very boring in others. This film has some very strong performances for the most part from both actors. Sutherland lives that rich inner life of a man who lives in disappointment for the existence he lives and in Larry an uneducated man Donald becomes aware that in this man’s own way he also has led a very rich life without having to be trapped which the professor tries to help him out throughout the film with his knowledge and to help him get a deeper appreciation for life.

This is one of those polar opposites that attract and both learn from each other sort of films. That on the surface you know if any other environment this would never have worked out this way. The little shades of beauty of the film is its dialogue, the script seemed to fit the actors, and they looked very comfortable in their roles and the interactions. For a semi-actor who probably has less than a handful of starring roles under his belt for Mullen to hang with Sutherland who is a career actor, was really impressive, though this is not Donald’s best role. We learn watching this film the day the criminal is due to rob a bank; Sutherland is going in for some kind of heart surgery. This film is basically a character study into two different realities and two different types of people that both envy each other’s lives, to see if we could co-exist in a setting like a train.

Like I said in the early part of this review, it is a very talky affair with no action. Almost like A Passage to India on a train at times, it is very slow paced and the dialogue at times does get a little too much, but I really warmed up to the premise of this film more than the actual film. Being that I never seen the original all the way thru, because that one was truly very boring to me much more than this one, this one seems to fall in the category of-did we really need another version? My answer is yes in a way, this one was easier for me to digest at times and barely get thru, all in all I think Sutherland made all the difference and Mullen, even though at times his dialogue is very few words not even strung together, gave it his best shot and seemed to work for the most part. The film is not a fail, but it is not a go out and buy either. Maybe a rental if you’re bored on a rainy night. I liked it, but I wish it would have been some action and less dialogue at times. This felt like a very long stage play adaptation that us guys know will get us in good with women to admit we watched.

6 out of 10

That is a D, D is barely passing. This film is barely watchable.