Thursday, August 19, 2010
Review. In the theatrical thriller Transsiberian, Roy (Woody Harrelson) and Jessie (Emily Mortimer), an American couple, finished with their volunteer work in China, decide to take the long way home via a ride on the famous Transsiberian train from Beijing to Moscow. On the train they meet a sketchy couple: Carlos, a Spaniard, and Abby, a young American, who share their sleeping compartment. When Roy accidentally misses the train at a layover, Jessie leaves with Carlos and Abby to find him. She soon discovers that the couple is not all that they appear to be and, in fact, are hiding a dangerous secret. However, she is unable to disentangle herself from the situation. Shortly thereafter, Roy and Jessie reunite, but by then the mysterious Russian detective (Sir Ben Kingsley) enters the picture with plenty of questions for Jessie.
Transsiberian, which premiered at the 2008 Sundance festival, is a first class thriller that has it all: great actors giving standout performances; an exciting plot; and haunting, bleak, scenery (Russia in the dead of winter). The storyline has many twists and turns, but this is primarily a character driven film. Fortunately, the cast is up to the task. Kingsley turns in one of his finest performances as the scary-terrific detective with his own ax to grind. Mortimer, the female lead, is fabulous as the street-smart wife to Harrelson’s loving, but naïve husband. The only negative aspect about this film is the graphic, but in my opinion not gratuitous, violence.
If you like exciting thrillers and can tolerate some gruesome violence, then Transsiberian won’t disappoint!