Review: ‘The Last Train’

A vintage train, soon to be shipped to Hollywood, is "kidnapped" by three senior citizens and a little kid for a last glorious run in helmer Diego Arsuaga's "The Last Train." Despite the Herculean efforts of a skilled trio of venerable thesps, film bogs down in tired dialogue and foregone conclusions.

A vintage train, soon to be shipped to Hollywood, is “kidnapped” by three senior citizens and a little kid for a last glorious run in helmer Diego Arsuaga’s “The Last Train.” Despite the Herculean efforts of a skilled trio of venerable thesps to invest believability in cliches considerably more antique than they are, film bogs down in tired dialogue and foregone conclusions. Sentimental chestnut could find niche on family and Hispanic small-screen venues.

Hector Alterio is the silver-tongued professor with a heart condition, Federico Luppi the macho engineer who passes off his older brother’s guerrilla exploits as his own, and Pepe Soriano the senile fussbudget who writes everything down but forgets it anyway. Ending pits venal cop and heartless yuppie businessman against heroic Uruguayan people who defend their national heritage against Yanqui exploitation, but not, unfortunately, against retreads. Hans Burmann’s lensing does justice to lush Uruguayan countryside, while Hugo Jasa’s score sounds like Morricone schmaltzed up con brio.

The Last Train

Uruguay-Spain-Argentina

Production

An Alta Films presentation of a Rambla Prods./Telefe/Patagonik Film Group/ Tornasol Films/Taxi Films production. Produced by Jose Sanchez Varela, Carlos Mentasti, Pablo Bossi, Oscar Kramer, Gerardo Herrero. Executive producers, Oscar Kramer, Carlos Gonzalez, Mariela Besuievsky. Directed by Diego Arsuaga. Screenplay, Arsuaga, Beda Docampo Feijoo, Fernando Leon de Aranoa.

Crew

Camera (color), Hans Burmann; editors, Fernando Pardo, Daniel Marquez; music, Hugo Jasa; art director, Ines Olmedo; sound, Horacio Almada; associate producers, Mario Bonanatta, Leonor Santamaria Blocona, Gustavo Montrasi. Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Sept. 1, 2002. Spanish dialogue. Running time: 90 MIN

With

Hector Alterio, Federico Luppi, Pepe Soriano, Gaston Pauls, Balaram Dinard.
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