Your trusted Irish source for film news, reviews and features.

Man on the Train


Ba dum tish – ★

The worst film of the year so far and unfortunately it’s Irish. Man on the Train is a remake of Patrice Leconte’s film and concerns a gangster (Larry Mullen Jr. yes the drummer from U2) who shacks up with (not in the Biblical sense) a worldly professor played by Donald Sutherland. Drum roll please….it’s terrible.

The film opens with a shot of Mullen on the train (probably where the title comes from) staring into the middle distance calculating how rich he is no doubt, only to discover he is out of migraine tablets. Relying on the kindness of strangers, Mullen befriends Sutherland in the chemist and accompanies him back to his mansion for a glass of water. When Mullen realises the local hotel is closed, he has no choice but to hold up at chez Sutherland.

The film looks like it cost about €10 to make and that it was shot on a mobile phone. The audio track is terrible making it sound as if everything was dubbed over at a later date and the score jars with the mood of the film. At times we have country steel/slide guitar and then some weird electro noise that wouldn’t seem out of place in a bad 70s porno. Mullen’s favourite film must be RoboCop as he has got his walk down to a tee. Acting is a craft just like playing the drums and takes years to hone, so it’s no surprise how wooden and out of place Mullen looks. Sutherland is at times deranged and far too over eager to please, making his character seem more kooky than wise.

There are some supporting roles most notably Graham Greene, one of those actors who is in everything but you can never remember what. To save you an IMDB search he was in Dances with Wolves and Die Hard with a Vengeance. Here he plays the driver of the getaway team and only speaks at 10.30 am and it’s usually something deep and meaningful along the lines of “dog is God spelt backwards”. This character exemplifies the overblown notions the picture has about itself. Trying to come across as a deep intellectual musing on morality or mankind, it misses the mark by a country mile. It’s best to let this train leave the station.

Ireland, Canada  /  Directed By: Mary McGuckian  /  Starring:  Donald Sutherland, Larry Mullen Jr., Graham Greene, Kate O’Toole  /  90min  /   Drama  /  Release: 11 January 2013 (Ireland), October 2012 (USA/Canada)