Movie #231 2021: Last Train To Christmas (2021)

Bloody hell, here we go again. Yet another Sky Original. Why do I keep doing this to myself? In my defence, Michael Sheen was on the roster so I simply could not help it. He is a national treasure, after all. Alas, I did recently say that the words ‘Sky’ and ‘Original’ are enough to make my skin crawl, so let’s just see how this one goes in the grand scheme of things, shall we?

Last Train To Christmas is a timey wimey type affair, detailing the life of Tony Towers through several train journeys he’s taken across the years. Towers is a local celebrity of sorts, as the owner of a nightclub that was successful in the eighties. When he begins to realise that there are things he’d like to change in his life, Towers notices something very peculiar about the train he’s on board: if he goes into the next carriage, he’s transported roughly ten years into the future and if he goes back into the previous carriage, he goes back a decade into a scene from his past. Nifty. Towers then makes some changes in his past, present and future that… well, let’s just say they often don’t change his life for the better.

Last Train to Christmas: Michael Sheen on his time-shifting festive film -  BBC News

So the premise itself is actually quite interesting. Sure, there are some elements within the plot that are clearly inspired by A Christmas Carol, but mostly it maintains an originality to a certain extent. The novelty wears thin after about 45 minutes though sadly, and the back and forth becomes a little bit tedious and often confusing. I didn’t want this movie to be a riddle, but it often was. This is Christmas, not Inception.

Stylistically, there are some things that I appreciated here. Any time someone wants to play around with aspect ratios is welcome to – it’s a really fun thing to use to your advantage in my eyes. Whilst the bare minimum is clearly done with colour palettes and filters, it all ends up working just fine despite being mostly average in terms of direction and aesthetic.

The last, Last Train To Christmas: that ending and how they get there -  Caution Spoilers

My biggest problem? Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride, Saw). What the fuck is that accent, man? As someone who’s actually from Nottinghamshire, I’m rather offended 😂 Who told him that accent was accurate? Why does he sound like some Last of the Summer Wine reject who’s lived on a Yorkshire farm all his life? Why didn’t they hire a Northern actor? I have so many questions. Not even Michael Sheen can save him. Just give it a rest, pal.

Although, again, there are some fun things about the plot (time travel stuff is never to be sniffed at), it all sadly gets quite samey after a while. It’s definitely not the worst Sky Original I’ve ever seen, but it’s instantly forgettable and way too long. A shame, because the trailers actually seemed quite promising.

You could watch this… or you could go back to the cinema and watch something that is a little more than average.

Last Train to Christmas is available to stream on Sky Cinema and Now TV in the UK.

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