20 July 2017 | stephenabell
A Surprisingly Entertaining B-Movie Action Thriller
My, my, my, what a little treat this turned out to be. I've been a fan of Scheider's since I saw him the Jaws movies and that appreciation of his skills grew when I watched Blue Thunder and Still Of The Night. I'd also been impressed by Dorian Harewood who I'd only seen in countless TV series, except for his role in Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket. So when I saw this film on the Sony Movie Channel I had to give it a try.
It took me right back to the '90's action thrillers and I have to say, this is one of the better ones. Not only does it have a strong cast, which consists of a lot of B'Movie and TV actors, plus it has a decent story.
Luke Sinclair arrives home too late to save his family from being murdered and the only satisfaction is their killer is caught. However, due to some botched up police procedures, he is released. Sinclair spots the murderer on the court steps where the killer taunts him. Sinclair reaches out and grabs a passing police officers gun and shoots the man to death. Needless to say, Sinclair is incarcerated for fifteen years for the murder and at every parole hearing when asked if he is aware of his actions and is he sorry he always replies no and that the man needed to be held accountable, his parole is subsequently turned down. One day while out in the yard one con decides to attack the prison King-Pin, Enzo Marcelli. Sinclair comes to Enzo's help and Enzo ends up killing the man. Since Sinclair helped Enzo, Enzo gets Sinclair transferred to a high tech prison. However, the prison isn't these convicts destination, for Enzo has devised a plan to escape, giving Sinclair his freedom. Though, when the plan goes awry, which side will Sinclair choose to fight for?
What the writers then add to this scenario are quite a few twists to the story as you find out not everything is quite as it seems. Another good idea was you can never be sure just who will survive this incident as even main characters are killed off. This, for its time, was quite a new way of telling a story and instilling realism. The director also does a good job of keeping the pace riding the rails at a breakneck speed, just as the trail itself careers to its final destination.
There was only one drawback for me and that was the underused character of Hector Miller as he was a psychopath who killed people according to horror movies and spoke only in movie quotes. Miller is kept behind bars even when the convicts get loose as even the bad guys don't trust him. So when he finally escapes you think, right then here we go things are going to get good. Except you'd be wrong as Miller mostly hides away for the rest of the film. It would have been even better if the end of the movie had been Miller walking away from the train wreck and into Las Vegas. But, even that didn't happen - so many missed opportunities with this character,
There are a few inconsistencies which detract from the film a little, the main one is when Sinclair does a "Blue Streak" and gets off the train. He makes it to a local town and steals a dirt bike and sets off to get back on board so he can help the passengers. The trouble being, in the time he was off the train its route is changed... there is no way that Sinclair would know this and he never should have been able to catch back up to the train. However, if you overlook this niggling fact the movie becomes enjoyable once more.
Another surprisingly good thing about the movie is its effects. If they used stock footage, which lots of movies did at that time then they chose the film stock perfectly to tie in with theirs as all the shots look to be the same calibre. There's plenty of train walking and hanging off the cars to satisfy everyone. Even when the train crashes into the station the effects are more than possible.
If you like action thrillers then you might enjoy this one. It is at least worth a look see. I would be only too happy to watch this film again, though it might have to be in a couple of years time.