Night Train – Blu-ray Review
By Jeff Swindoll Jul 7, 2009, 16:09 GMT
How far would you go to have everything you desire? When a veteran conductor (Danny Glover), a young pre-med student (Leelee Sobieski) and a struggling salesman (Steve Zahn) discover a dead body onboard a night train, the three strangers find themselves on a collision course with destiny. Among the deceased man’s possessions is a mysterious box, containing a ...more
A late night train has a mysterious package onboard. When some passengers look inside it, they see valuable items that will cause them to behave differently than they usually would but to do anything to get possession of the box.
The Nightingale is a late night express that is about to be retired. It’s making a last Christmas run when a mysterious figure boards it at one stop. He stumbles back to the last car where two passengers are already tucked in.
Peter Dobbs (Steve Zahn) is an alcoholic salesman sleeping his Christmas cheer off. Chloe White (Leelee Sobieski) is a medical student studying on her way back home for Christmas dinner. The stranger stumbles into the car popping pain pills like tic-tacs. Dobbs offers him a tiny airline bottle of vodka to wash them down; the man leans back in his chair with his hat over his face, and dies.
After noticing that their newest arrival has shuffled off the mortal coil the two contact conductor Miles (Danny Glover) to find out what to do about their deceased arrival. During this the festively wrapped package the stranger has is opened and the contents examined.
It appears to be a puzzle box containing valuable jewels, worth a king’s ransom. So then the three unwise partners try to come up with some plan to get rid of the Christmas corpse and keep the valuables for themselves.
There’s been a long line of “films on trains” but Night Train veers more into Stephen King territory. I can imagine the King-ster writing something similar for one of his short story collections. However, I’d imagine that he’d do a better job with it on the printed page.
The film does steer towards the supernatural with the Christmas present that our stranger brings on the train, but there is the greater story of how people can turn against one another. The film was obviously made with some cost cutting measures as much of the minor cast members speak with a European accent, thought they’re playing American, as well as most of the train scenes have been done with CGI (sorta reminded me of Polar Express but without the budget).
The main cast is decent, but Zahn is a bit too wide-eyed and annoying. All of them have done better work in other films. The film tries to build suspense but it really just is a train to nowhere.
Night Train is presented in a 1080p high definition transfer (1.78:1). Special features are presented in standard definition. They include a 23 minute “making of,” 28 minutes of cast and crew interviews, a 2 minute trailer, and a photo gallery.
Night Train isn’t one that you’ll want to catch. The acting is pretty standard, but the participants have done better in other films. The film tries with its low budget but the results are not the express.