By: Oberst Von Berauscht (Three Beers) -
The Great Train Robbery tells the story of Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland’s bold plan to find and punch England in the dick. The venue for said penis mashing in this case being a train, with the naughty bits represented by a safe full of gold destined for mainland Europe to support the Crimean War. Through a combination of suave villainy, planning montages, and an incessant scottish brogue, Connery and his assembled team of master criminals execute their plan
Sean Connery is an actor who has seldom done straight comedy, though he certainly has a keen sense of comic timing.
“Plenty O’Toole eh? More like Plenty O’Stretchmarks…”
(Above: A deleted Scene that probably exists)
While by no means a “comedy” per se, it does certainly exhibit elements, with witty dialogue, and the added bonus of being the only place outside of playboy interviews that the actor talks about his erection more than once. This, as you can imagine, comes off only a little less creepy than hearing your uncle talk about them. Nevertheless, Connery is the man, and if he could make the possibility of sex with Catherine Zeta Jones believable, at the age of 102, than he must be some kind of wizard (He turned down Harry Potter, presumably because it hit too close to home.)
The tone of the movie varies wildly between goofy antics and dark moments, making for a strange brew. In the matter of a few minutes Connery is seen smiling and exchanging jokes, and the next moment he fucking CHOKES ONE OF HIS PARTNERS TO DEATH. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to watch as the person I’m choking struggles for air, and that fateful moment where you can watch the light go out of their eyes and feel just a step closer to God, as much as anyone, but… I probably shouldn’t have written that.
Writer and director Michael Crichton seems a bit lost in creating a dynamic narrative. The film seems bent on explaining every step of the plan and in the order in which it is all done, in a fashion about as dry and procedural as say… a Michael Crichton novel. For instance, the film opens with some helpful narration to describe the background to the gold, and the gold train, only to move to a scene with Connery sitting and talking with a group of wealthy men, discussing the same thing we just were told all about. Events like this happen throughout the film, and are wholly unnecessary. Crichton perhaps should have trusted his story to an experienced filmmaker.
“So the Mecha-Dinosaurs, which are part of the history exhibit become sentient, and decide to help Sean Connery rob the train, and when they open the safe they find out that the gold is infected with Space AIDs, and they all die except for Connery because he’s the star of the movie and we need him to come around for the sequel where we find out that this is how the DNA was first discovered for the creation of Jurassic Park 100 years later…”
(Michael Bay’s film pitch was rejected outright)
It’s an entertaining movie, definitely worth looking up on Netflix, especially if you’re a Connery fan.
If it was any other man…
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: when Connery dupes someone
Take a Drink: when there is a “goofy” joke to lighten the mood
Do a Shot: when something said earlier in the film is repeated, to make sure you got it.