A Well Acted and Directed Thriller

This is the first decent train disaster movie I’ve seen since Denzel Washington starred in Unstoppable (and of course The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3), but there was one recent attempt at another train action movie, The Last Passenger. This is way better than the Brit thriller, thanks to the writing by Robert Kirbyson and Tara Stone. The direction by Robert Kirbyson was also solid, as he managed a decent pace, keeping it interesting and edge-or-your-seat from pretty much the getgo, not letting up till the very end. A commendable job indeed.

Mr Kirbyson hasn’t exactly had much in the way of success, with his last movie the unfortunate Snowmen, but I have to say, this just may be his redemption, as he should silence any critics who thought he had nothing to offer. Well, after watching his handling of Red Line, I’m more than a little impressed. What I liked most of all, was the fact that he has taken a mediocre script and made something good out of it that genuinely thrilled, and it isn’t an easy thing to do when the person reviewing your movie has seen them all. This is obviously a low-budget affair but you wouldn’t really know it as the production values are of a decent standard. The making of this film is extremely interesting and I suggest you visit the official site to find out the details, as they make for fascinating reading. For example, the shoot was filmed almost entirely by interns, which was obviously a gamble, but it paid off in dividends, with a job well done.

Red Line
Robert Kirbyson
Nicole Gale Anderson, John Billingsley and Kunal Sharma
Release Date
16 July, 2013
Nav’s Grade: A-

A group of passengers are on a train when there is an explosion. The next thing they know, they are in a wrecked, dust filled compartment, with bodies strewn about and some people mortally wounded. A woman, Rubina (Keena Ferguson), is watching her fiance dying, a man, Sam (John Billingsley), is pinned to the side of the car by a dislodged seat, the mother of Dillon (Renee Sly), a little girl, has a length of metal protruding from her abdomen, and the one person who appears to have any medical knowledge, Yolanda (Anna Maganini), only speaks Spanish. As they search about for anything useful, they find a first-aid kit but can’t believe what they find inside.

A large bomb or IED (Improvised Exploding Device) set on a timer. They have less than an hour to defuse it or they all perish. They start to look for someone to blame and as the only guy who looks Middle Eastern, Al (Kunal Sharma), has books and pictures of trains in his backpack, he is automatically blamed. He is tortured by one of the passengers in an attempt to find out how to disarm the device, but what if they’re wrong about him? The only person to stick up for him is Tori, played by the lovely Nicole Gale Anderson.

What follows is an examination of how people act in a deadly situation, with several possible outcomes, as they try to first diffuse the bomb, then deal with a psycho determined to blow them all up. The acting was very good with Kevin Sizemore (Jared), John Billingsley and the young but very talented Renee Sly giving it their all.

This is a fine example of what can be achieved by small studios on a budget, when they are determined enough to get the job done, and to me, that makes this film all the more special. Kudos to Yellow Line Studio and Robert Kirbyson. The Red Line official site is well worth a visit if you’re interested in seeing how it was put together.

Nav Qateel.