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'Last Passenger' review: A faulty, clunky ride to oblivion

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Last Passenger

Rating:
Star2
Star
Star
Star
Star

"Last Passenger" will open in Houston at the Regal Greenway Grand Palace movie theater starting today.

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"Last Passenger" begins with some hyperactive shots of the camera buzzing down the railroad tracks at night. Its purpose is to give you the sensation of being stranded on an out of control train incapable of stopping. The camera proceeds to trudge through the interior of a train. We make our way through one of the cars and through a group of out of control teenagers to focus on a man named Lewis (Dougray Scott) and his son Max (Joshua Kaynama) playing rock-paper-scissors.

Lewis is a doctor and he's called in to the hospital while he's on the train. He hits it off with an attractive woman named Sarah (Kara Tointon) and gets her number before falling asleep near his stop at the end of the line. After waking up and seeing what looks like a man crawling by the tracks, Lewis panics and tries to stop the train. With no emergency brakes and the train operator ignoring their cries, Lewis alerts the other five passengers on board that their last stop will definitively be their final destination.

The suspense thriller makes sure to show the awkward behavior of certain passengers, particularly Jan (Iddo Goldberg), and the bizarre discoveries Lewis makes each times he observes his surroundings. Jan is blatantly shown to come off as a delinquent, but his menacing cigarette magic trick is more pointless than anything. Max is supposed to represent the innocence of being a young child stuck in a bad situation, but the stupid decisions he makes along with a certain emotional scene he has with Lewis has the boy grinding every last shred of patience you may have.

The train is very obviously hijacked at a certain point in "Last Passenger," so you're constantly wondering who or why would do such a thing. There's very little explanation given or any type of reasonable motive. Getting their face into the newspaper is all any of the characters care about. If that wasn't nonsensical enough, nobody thinks straight when they have the opportunity to act on a possible escape. The tunnel sequence is mostly just a loud squawking match between everyone who's still alive rather than an actual attempt at freedom.

Films don't have to have explanations for every little thing to be enjoyable, but "Last Passenger" doesn't describe enough of anything to be entertaining. The characters go through this thinking process of thinking somewhat rationally to a more direct approach to thinking outside the box and finally considering sacrifices for the greater good. While the film is in the same vein as films such as "Unstoppable," "Speed," "Joy Ride," and "Premium Rush," it lacks a proper resolution and its empty thrills don't make up for its inadequate amount of substance.

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