The Man On The Train

Rated 3.0 A stranger (French rock star Johnny Hallyday) arrives in a small French town with plans to rob the local bank. But while waiting to make his move, he is befriended by a retired poetry teacher (Jean Rochefort), and both men wind up wishing they had lived the other’s life. The craggy, aging good looks of Rochefort and Hallyday lend weight and depth to Claude Klotz’s script, triumphing over a surreal, pseudo-mystical ending and some pretty campy subtitles. (Lines like “One is marked for life by onanistic practices” and “Revenge is misfortune’s justice” undoubtedly sound better in French.) Director Patrice Leconte gives the film an artistic sheen just this side of pretentious. The whole thing fairly begs to be taken for serious art, but old-fashioned star power is what really makes it worth watching.