Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Great Train Robbery

The opening narration tells us everything we need to know: In 1855, there had never been a robbery of a moving train and the very first one was an extremely daring one at that. During the Crimean War the British government shipped mass amounts of gold bars to pay its soldiers fighting the war. They were placed in 500 plus pound safes guarded in a locked compartment of a train. To gain access to the safe, there are four locks, two of which are at the station and the other two are in the possession of two elderly bankers. Now that you have the set up, you can figure out how the rest of the film plays out. Maybe I shouldn't approach it like that because The Great Train Robbery is a fun old fashioned film. Written and directed by the prolific Michael Chrichton (Jurassic Park, E.R.), it is finely shot among the green British countryside and I really thought the heist scenes aboard the locomotive were filmed well. Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland star in fine light comic performances. The film gets off to a great start, begins to drag in the middle, and rebounds for a nice finale. The Great Train Robbery is light predictable fare that is still just downright fun.