‘Last Passenger’ shows some promise in the direct to DVD bin

Posted in Movies by - February 09, 2015

Contrary to popular belief, straight to DVD doesn’t necessarily mean that a movie isn’t worth the time and is simply getting dumped on the marketplace because once in a while you can watch something that actually isn’t half bad.  Last Passenger is a basic little thriller that is pretty damn effective from beginning to end.

Dr. Lewis Shaler (Dougray Scott) boards a late night commuter train on his way home with his son Max.  They chat with random passengers including the attractive Sarah (Kara Tointon) who both son and father immediately take a liking to, but as the night drags on Lewis can’t help but wonder why the train isn’t stopping at its normal scheduled destinations.  When the train throttles past his own stop it’s only then that he and the other passengers realize that something is pretty damn wrong.  They have no way of communicating with the conductor and contact with the outside world is pretty limited.  As the train crashes through whatever is put in their path, they realize that it is up to them to make sure that this multi ton iron bullet doesn’t become their tomb.

Action can be done in a smaller scale and on a relative budget and Last Passenger proves that and then some as we are more than willing to over look some gaping plot holes for a well structured and effective action yarn that manages to be pretty thrilling from beginning to end.

Co-writer/director Omid Nooshin makes his feature debut in a fairly neat and tidy fashion Keeping the action self contained  on the train and running at a healthy clip.  As a director he certainly made the most of his surroundings and maxed out the confines of the train to craft the mystery of what is going on and the race for the remaining passengers to save their lives.  The script was OK, but leaves some gaping logic holes that you could drive a dump truck through, had they been filled this could have been some top flight filmmaking, but we were left wondering when the other shoe would drop in regards to some of the main story arcs in the movie as things were just left up in the air.

Dougray Scott has the chiselled good looks and iron jaw to be a heroic every man leading man and he is likeable enough to sell whatever he needs on the screen, but the material lets him down as only his motivation for protecting his son carries him through the narrative.  Sadly none of the characters are defined and any sort of back story plot points just get dropped in at random.  The worst thing of all is that even with these characters banding together to survive this horrible thing that is happening to them, we never get a sense of who the bad guy is or might be.  The third act has choppy moments that feel like that those elements could have been revealed but got axed in favor of fitting it into a neat and tidy 95 minute running time.

While it will never be mistaken for high art, Last Passenger is a decent little action thriller designed for a lazy Sunday afternoon that doesn’t require you to think too much and just buy into the action that is on the screen.

Special features on the DVD include some behind the scenes featurettes and the theatrical trailer.

This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.

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