Last Passenger - Review
Review by Rob Carnevale
OMID Nooshin’s low budget action thriller Last Passenger began life as a self-financed teaser trailer that attracted the attention of financiers and enabled it’s ambitious director to make his first film.
A passion project, the film that results is a surprisingly gripping effort that largely overcomes it’s budget limitations and makes the most of a talented cast.
Drawing on his passion for both Hitchcock and Steven Spielberg’s Duel, Nooshin places several passengers on a late night train who suddenly find themselves hurtling towards near-certain death at the hands of a maniacal driver.
Included among these passengers is a widowed father and doctor (Dougray Scott) travelling with his son (Joshua Kaynama), an attractive young woman (Kara Tointon, providing the obligatory potential love interest), a grandmother (Lindsay Duncan), a brash Polish Underground worker (Iggo Goldberg) and a moody businessman (David Schofield). All must put any differences aside to find a way off the train before the inevitable happens.
Nooshin’s may be slow out of the blocks but by spending a lot of time focusing on character, it helps makes you more invested in them once their night comes off the rails. And even then, he still allows plenty of room for growth, changing initial first (and sometimes stereotypical) perceptions of certain individuals.
As a result, the film gets to benefit from some solid performances, with Scott, Goldberg and Schofield standing out. Nooshin also manages to keep a tight lid on the tension and executes some gripping set pieces, while keeping things largely authentic to the situation.
That’s not to say there aren’t times when the low budget is exposed, while the final act feels a little overblown. But even then you may well be surprised at just how hooked you are by the time you reach those points.
All things considered, this is an accomplished debut that achieves most of what it sets out to. It should be interesting to see where Nooshin goes from here.
Running time: 97mins
UK Release Date: October 18, 2013