Review: Mortimer drives Hitchcockian “Transsiberian”

A train in the snow with murder

Some critics have dubbed “Transsiberian” a Hitchcockian suspense thriller.

“Hitchcockian” is such an odd word.

OK, so much for that.

Emily Mortimer, the reason to see the film, plays the enigmatic wife of gregarious, church-going, train-loving, Southern good ol’ boy Woody Harrelson.

After participating in a humanitarian conference in Beijing, they decide to take the long, train ride back to Moscow.

On board, they meet and are somewhat taken under the wing by a flirtatious, supremely confident 30ish rascal who needs a shave and his secretive, younger female companion.

Drugs, smuggling, a Russian detective played to the hilt by Ben Kingsley, naivete, seduction and betrayal also play key roles in the picture – which resembles Hitch’s “Strangers on a Train” in that both involve strangers meeting on a train.

Hitch’s film features more tension. “Transsiberian” is more violent and delivers a more exciting train ride – and Mortimer at her best.

The money shot: Mortimer hanging from the open door of a speeding train.

All right, maybe it’s Hitchcockian lite.

Still, “Transsiberian” is better-than-average escapism. And there’s nothing like chilly scenes of winter to take your mind off having to shower twice daily during the long, hot summer.

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