On the surface, Omid Nooshin’s debut feature may seem formulaic, it’s nonetheless executed with panache. An antidote to the slew of slapdash Hollywood action flicks, it’s both compelling and stylish, if not hugely original.
The plot’s fairly straightforward, give or take the occasional red herring. All the action takes place on a rickety old train (curiously lacking in modern safety features), on which a random assortment of passengers find themselves hurtling towards catastrophe when the locomotive’s brakes are sabotaged.
Once the characters, including a widowed doctor, played by Dougray Scott, a sassy event planner and a kindly gran (Lindsay Duncan) realise they’re in serious trouble, they must pull together to take control of the speeding bullet before all onboard are killed. If you’ve ever experienced the aloofness of the average London commuter, you’ll appreciate the strength of character involved here.
Last Passenger may lack the Hollywood gloss of high-octane flicks such as Speed, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Filmed on a minuscule budget, it’s an impressive offering from a director who’s surely on track for bigger things.