Runaway train story boring, but has some positive messages.
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A Lot or a Little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this slow-paced runaway train story shows taunting and nonviolent bullying between kids, though the main characters eventually learn to get along. The scenes of children trapped on a runaway train might be too much to handle for younger viewers.
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What's the Story?
Jeremiah Wilson loves working for the Willamette Western Railroad as much as he loves playing with model trains with his grandchildren. All this changes when Brett Banner, the heir to the New York Eastern railroad, buys out the WWR and unceremoniously fires Jeremiah. But when Brett's bratty son Daniel ends up on a runaway train with Jeremiah's grandkids, everyone must figure out a way to work together and stop the train before it is too late.
Is It Any Good?
While you might think it would be difficult to take something as exciting as a runaway train story and make it plodding and boring, TRAIN MASTER manages that nearly miraculous feat. The acting is uniformly excruciating, and for kids and families eager to see the action of a train out of control, that doesn't happen until nearly the first hour of the film has passed.
The first half of the film is so bogged down with attempting to "get to know" the characters, by the time you get to what's at stake with them with their work, their lives, and -- yes -- the runaway train, it's difficult to care about whether or not the train will slam straight into a nuclear power plant, thus taking the lives of the children, and, presumably the entire Pacific Northwest.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how the kids respond to being on a runaway train. What would be the real consequences of this situation? How do you think you would react if you were stuck on a train like this?
How accurately does this film portray the struggles people go through after losing their jobs? Do you have family members or friends who have lost their jobs and struggling to get by?
How are new kids treated when they first come to your school, and how do they respond to being in a new school?
- On DVD or streaming: May 12, 2009
- Cast: Jonathan Hall, Mercedes Rose, Michael Biesanz
- Director: Phil Bransom
- Studio: MTI Home Video
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Trains
- Run time: 94 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: February 25, 2022
Our Editors Recommend
The Little Engine That Could
Young train fans will enjoy this message-filled ride.
Mr. Bean's Holiday
Slight, slapstick-heavy comedy will amuse kids.
Thomas and the Magic Railroad
Will please its many fans, but plot might confuse kids.
For kids who love travel
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