Last Passenger and Not Safe for Work are both on instant Netflix
Not Safe for Work (2014) – Not rated
“On his way out of the office, a paralegal witnesses a murder — and realizes he’s now trapped inside the otherwise empty building with the killer.”
Not Safe for Work makes good use of its trendy title and low budget by setting almost the entire movie on a single floor of an office building. The script, by horror writers Adam Mason and Simon Boyes, is not only conceptual and economical but also very clever in spots. When have you seen automatic flush toilets used as a plot point? Our protagonist is written way too over the top to start with but things are fine once he is fired.
Director Joe Johnston has made a career of making good movies that could have been better (Captain America, Jurassic Park III, Jumanji) with only The Wolfman being a major misfire. This one is no exception. Johnston keeps things very efficient. The entire movie, including credits, is only an hour and fourteen minutes.
The cast is mostly generic. Max Minghella plays our way-too-idealistic worker. No one in the cast stands out especially but the killer is wryly amusing. Some of the reasoning in the script is specious and this is definitely the most crowded empty office you will ever see.
Overall Not Safe for Work is an enjoyable hour and a bit but you won’t remember the details the next day.
Last Passenger (2013) – Rated R
“A weary single dad boards a train from London with his son and is forced to take dramatic action when a madman seizes control of the speeding train.”
Tag – One train. Six passengers. No chance.
Last Passenger is another low-budget thriller that benefits both from a single setting (a train) and a brief run time (an hour and thirty-four minutes). It is director Omid Nooshin’s feature film debut and he is also one of the writers. The story is carefully shaped to keep the action affordable.
Dougray Scott finally gets a starring role after playing third fiddle (or lower) to everyone else, most recently in Taken 3. He is fine as is the rest of the cast. I was thankful that it played out as just some normal passengers in a bad situation, instead of one of the passengers emerging as some sort of superhero.
Unfortunately the feature goes off the rails (so to speak) in the final twenty minutes with some rather terrible plotting. It is as if the writers didn’t know where to go from a certain point and just wrote in anything that popped in their head.
Aside from the head-shakingly disappointing ending (at least two moments in the last twenty minutes will have you saying “that would never happen” to an uncaring television), Last Passenger is a decent albeit somewhat forgettable action thriller.