Starring: Billy Crystal, Danny DeVito, Kim Greist
Director: Danny DeVito
Running Time: 88 mins
Throw Momma From The Train is an American film about a struggling writer, bitter about his ex-wife, and his student, frustrated with his demanding mother. They agree to kill each other’s enemies, however once one is pulled off, the other begins to have doubts about the whole plan.
This is, surprisingly, a really entertaining and interesting film. Even though it’s meant to be a comedy, it’s not actually that funny, but it’s got a fun story, a properly unpredictable climax, and some brilliant on-screen chemistry between Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito, and it all comes together to make a film that’s as light as anything, but still a lot of fun to watch.
I’ll start with what I thought was the best, and by far most surprising, thing about this film: the story. Based off of the concept for Strangers On A Train, the whole ‘criss-cross’ idea is actually exciting to watch, and it makes for some genuinely unpredictable twists and turns throughout, which really kept me intrigued.
The ending is the best showing of this, but I won’t spoil it. Needless to say that the whole story returns to where you would have ultimately expected it, but it deals with that direction in a totally different way to what you would think, making for really exciting watching where you’re almost on edge, which is something pretty impressive for a comedy movie.
Also, Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito make an excellent on-screen combo that hugely adds to the fun of the whole film when the comedy falls down. Yes, they’re the generic pairing of polar opposites, with one who annoys the other to hell and back, but for some reason, they really inject a great humour into the story that makes it so entertaining to watch.
I only have two problems with this film, mainly the comedy. The problem is that there are all sorts of running jokes and individual gags that pop up here and then, but they’re actually quite few and far between, and on the whole not that funny in reality, and it’s only Crystal and DeVito that make this a credible comedy, not the jokes.
Secondly, the subject matter is at times not dealt with amazingly well. It’s not a huge problem, but at times it feels too dark for the comedy that it wants to bring to the table, whereas on the other hand, it occasionally just is too silly to be exciting, but this is only a minor problem, on the whole, this is a genuinely entertaining film, with top-notch performances, and a really exciting story that keeps you intrigued right up until the end.