As you might have guessed, Last Passenger is a British thriller following a group of passengers on a night train. I don’t know how things are where you live but in Great Britain, the train culture is strong. Perhaps this is the reason why we got several great movies taking place entirely in trains. The last one I remember is Howl that even adds werewolves to the mix. And part of this fascination with trains has transferred onto me. If you ever traveled by train, you know that feeling, a feeling that’s almost magical but also a bit frightening. You know you’re safe as this huge mass of metal, weighing a couple of hundred tons, keeps barreling down the rails.
Working on a limited budget, Last Passenger focused on the characters and atmosphere. We start with a casual vibe that slowly starts intensifying. And before you know it, there’s this suspense in the air and you can’t guess what’s going to happen next. But you’re free to do so. All this is accomplished with CGI, explosions, and other gimmicks. Okay, just a little bit of CGI and explosions. You just need a good cast and a well-written script. And this movie has both. Almost all the movies that begin with a notice that the movie has been produced with funds from the British national lottery are excellent. Just noticing.
Lewis Shaler, a doctor in the ER boards a train with his kid Max, hoping to finally get home and rest. As fate would have it, his phone rings after a couple of minutes, and he steps outside the cart to take the call. Sarah Barwell, an event organizer who just got out of a bad relationship, befriends Max wondering where are his parents. Lewis gets back and soon he and Sarah start flirting, although now he has to go back to the hospital because there’s been a car accident. However, this is where the real trouble starts.
It’s truly amazing how I sympathized with almost all the characters in this movie. They were very realistic and excellent acting, especially from Dougray Scott, which made it all even more intense. The atmosphere on the train was claustrophobic and very suspenseful, although it was traveling through the vast city of London. There’s been a ton of movies with trains, so there’s nothing new and innovative here, but maybe this is one of the advantages because it all feels cozy and familiar.
Also, it’s fun to play “what would I do” games during the movie, just as long as you remember that you are playing them from the comfort of your home and not on a crazy train. Finally, if you’re looking for more movies with the same setting check out The Commuter, The Girl on the Train, and Transsiberian. And, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Runaway Train by Andrey Konchalovskiy. All aboard!
Director: Omid Nooshin
Writers: Omid Nooshin, Andy Love, Kas Graham
Cast: Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, Iddo Goldberg, David Schofield, Lindsay Duncan, Joshua Kaynama, Samuel Geker-Kawle