Transsiberian (2008) Directed by Brad Anderson. With Emily Mortimer, Woody Harrelson, Ben Kingsley, Kate Mara and Eduardo Noriega.
The true test of any thriller worth its salt sits in its ability to create tension and excitement during the time you spend in its company. It’s pleasing then to report that Brad Anderson’s chilly looking Transsiberian passes that fundamental test with flying colours.
Woody Harrelson (Roy) and Emily Mortimer (Jessie) play an American couple on a mini adventure break via a Trans-Siberian train where they meet an intriguing couple, Carlos and Abby, which begins a series of events. Giving much further plot detail would only serve to spoil surprises, but the overall strength of the film is not only down to the tension it creates in its second half, but also the way in which the central characters are set-up as likeable, imperfect and accessible people in the first half. The tight corridors and claustrophobic cabins of the train also serve to heighten the tension to the extent that time spent away from the train does bring an air of welcome freedom.
This isn’t a film that’s going to go down in cinema history, but it’s a thoroughly engaging watch with some fine performances and nerve jangling moments. Add a sturdy performance from Ben Kingsley to the mix of a steady script and frosty chills and Transsiberian is as strong and reliable as a trusty old steam engine. 4/5