Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Midnight Meat Train (2008) Quick Review

The Midnight Meat Train (2008) Dir. by Ryûhei Kitamura

The photographer Leon lives with his girlfriend and waitress Maya waiting for a chance to get in the photo business. When Maya contacts their friend Jurgis, he schedules a meeting for Leon with the successful owner of arts gallery Susan Hoff; she analyzes Leon's work and asks him to improve the quality of his photos. During the night, the upset Leon decides to wander on the streets taking pictures with his camera, and he follows three punks down to the subway station; when the gang attacks a young woman, Leon defends her and the guys move on. On the next morning, Leon discovers that the woman is missing. He goes to the police station, but Detective Lynn Hadley does not give much attention to him and discredits his statement. Leon becomes obsessed to find what happened with the stranger and he watches the subway station. When he sees the elegant butcher Mahogany in the train, Leon believes he might be a murderer and stalks him everywhere, in the beginning of his journey to the darkness. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on IMDB.

I am a big fan of Clive Barker, and I have read this short story. The film is actually incredibly close to the original work, and Kitamura does a great job keeping the dark theme of the original story. Most times a short story is stretched into a full lenth film, it doesn't really work, but this isn't the case here. I think it is partially due to the above par acting by Bradley Cooper, Leslie Bibb, and of course, Vinnie Jones(as Mahogany, the suited killer). There are also some interesting cameos by Ted Raimi, and the later on A-teammate Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. Brooke Shields gives her usual mediocre performance, but her character drives the initial plot.

The film itself is insanely fun, and comes off as a great thriller. The lighting and sound work really add to the element of the film, including the eerie score. I would seriously consider buying this film, even though there are some major flaws in it. I knew the ending going into the movie, but the sudden dropping of the ball ending is less than appealing. There was little to no foreshadowing of the ending, and it comes out of nowhere, almost seeming to be rushed. It was poorly executed and seriously deterred me from the film at first. The more I thought about it, the more I like the film, but I still wish it would have been handled better. The other major downfall of the film is the use of CG during the kill scenes. The kills they manage to pull of without the use of CG are done just fine, and I don't understand why they didn't just stick with that. Need less to say, at least rent the movie, as Vinnie Jones is a badass, and he will kill you if you don't.

Entertainment Value: 8/10 Meat Tenderizers
Cinematic Value: 7/10 Meat Tenderizers


Patrick Nottingham said...

It was a pretty decent gorefest I thought. I do agree with ya on the overuse of CG stuff. How expensive can a bucket of blood be?

The Film Connoisseur said...

They used lots of gooey red stuff as well, its not all CGI blood, I liked the kills, they were so freaking imaginative.

I dont agree about the ending though, they do give you hints that something weird is going on with the train and the driver of the train. Also, there are a couple of hints with the rings and the necklaces that certain people wear, letting you know they belong to a strange group, and that something is defenetly going behind the scenes.

This movie gets a lot of heat for its ending, but I like it just fine. Plus...the way the main character ends up. damn!

This movie deserved better than the treatment it got from Lions Gate thats for sure!

R.D. Penning said...

The ending shouldn't get that much heat. Anyone who has read the story know it is spot on storywise.

It is Barker, so you can always expect the unexpected and the weird.

forestofthedead said...

Great film, excellent review.
Enjoyed reading your take on it.

Planet of Terror said...

Yeah I agree, great film terrible execution of the ending. And I really dug the kills too. Great review.

Rabid Fox said...

How I wish this was available in one of the local rental shops, or any ship for that matter. It looks like it could be one of the better Clive Barker adaptations. And I just loved the short story, and can't help but applaud the casting of Vinnie Jones.

Lee said...

Spot-on review. I really liked this one, too.

Jason said...

Today only I watched this movie online from here http://watchthrillermovies.blogspot.com/2011/08/midnight-meat-train-2008.html which was really scarie to watch. The violence seems to be high in this film

Edward said...

Have you seen Kitamura's latest film, No One Lives? You can view the trailer here (http://noonelives-movie.co.uk) - it's great!