Man On The Train

The title character is an over-the-hill hood played by aging French pop star Johnny Hallyday, who arrives in a small town to rob a local bank one Saturday. A retired poetry teacher (Jean Rochefort) about to undergo open-heart surgery offers to put him up, and the men unexpectedly bond. Patrice Leconte directed Claude Klotz’s mainly serviceable script, which falters only when it gets too fancy toward the end. It’s a classic setup for a star vehicle, and notwithstanding able support from Jean-Francois Stevenin and Edith Scob, among others, this movie belongs to the two leads. Their calm assurance — Hallyday as a grizzled icon, Rochefort as a melancholy mensch — is a pleasure to behold (2002). In French with subtitles. 90 min. (JR)

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