Trackman (2007 movie) review…

Trackman (2007 movie) review after the break…

Trackman (2007 movie) review…

A botched bank robbery in the city of Moscow, Russia, causes four robbers and their three captives to find themselves at the mercy of a serial killer while lost inside the crumbling remains of an unused portion of the Moscow subway system. Complicating matters are that two of the robbers are working to scam the other two out of the money & a hostage bent upon escaping the group.

TRACKMAN is a foreign film and not a film merely shot on location in a foreign country. The actors all speak Russian and the entire film has an air of cultural authenticity that American films shot on location rarely possess.

The most positive aspect about TRACKMAN is that it doesn’t feel “cheap.” The cinematography feels appropriate for a theatrical release as does the special effects and sound. I never felt as though I was watching a movie shot on “Grandma’s digital camcorder.”

Unfortunately, TRACKMAN is sort of like an Olympic high dive – It is judged not just on the execution but also on the difficulty of the dive. In this case, the movie brings nothing new to screen that has not been presented before… Seemingly unstoppable serial killer? Check. Bad guy with a heart of gold (in this case, a man named Grom)? Check. Female hostage who bonds with bad guy with a heart of gold because of the Helsinki Syndrome (in this case, Katya)? Check. Confined, restricted work space that forces the crew to confront the serial killer rather than run away as fast as possible? Check. The cast whittled down until the predictable “Couple vs. The Monster” finale? Check.

Writing about this film is difficult because there is not much to write about. The film could easily be remade in just about any locale with an extensive and historic subway system. New York City? Yup. Tokyo? Yup. London? Absolutely Yup.

I could complain about all of the little flaws in the film: Why did the robbers take hostages in the first place if the getaway for the botched robbery would be so clean? Why drag them into the subway at all? How difficult is it to escape a subway system? Why didn’t the scheming robber just kill the other two robbers and take the money in the first place (after all, the other two would have known about the scan once they saw the getaway vehicle)?

Perhaps one of the largest question is the ending – Without revealing too much, the very end of the movie reveals HOW the serial killer knew that the robbers would be using that particular part of the subway tunnel system. This ending works quite well and is sort of neat but that neat moment, in itself, raises two disturbing questions: The robbers are stupid to plan something so criminal someplace that public and why demystify the serial killer when you have spent the entire movie making him appear to be the typical immortal, unstoppable sly killing machine?

It would have been entertaining had the remaining robbers used their ill-gotten money to somehow flee the serial killer (say, set the money on fire to distract the serial killer) or if the cop hostage had eventually taken over the leadership responsibilities of keeping the group alive. Yet such speculation is not reality: What remains on the screen is a typical slasher film inside a subway.

TRACKMAN doesn’t have low production values – Just a script that offers nothing new to people who haven’t seen it all before but even to people who haven’t seen most of it before. A wrinkle or two in the script would have made this movie far more entertaining and memorable.

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