Cinema Review: The D Train | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Friday, December 8th, 2023  

The D Train

Studio: IFC Films
Directed by Andrew Mogel and Jarrad Paul

May 11, 2015 Issue #53 - April/May 2015 - Tame Impala
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In this hit-and-miss underdog comedy, Jack Black elicits some of its best laughs with facial expressions, those of a man stifling the feeling of his world crumbling. Black plays Dan Landsman, a husband and father working for a small-time consulting firm in the Pittsburgh area. He’s also the self-appointed chairman of his high-school class’s alumni committee, a drab group of fellow 1994 grads who exclude him from their social activities. After happening upon a TV sunscreen commercial starring classmate Oliver Lawless (James Marsden), Dan consumes himself with the idea of becoming the savior of the planned 20-year reunion by bringing Oliver, a virtual celebrity, to the event. Dan lies to his wife (Kathryn Hahn) and Luddite boss (Jeffrey Tambor) about a fake business meeting in L.A. so he can recruit Oliver in person, even though they’ve never been friends.

As a viewer, it’s difficult to invest in a character willing to risk his job for such low stakes, especially a father of a teenage son (Russell Posner) and infant daughter. Co-writers/co-directors Jarrad Paul and Andrew Mogel integrate a bold plot twist that stirs up complex emotions, but from there The D Train loses steam as it wavers between subversive and inevitable. Curiously, ’80s music is prevalent throughout the film.

Author rating: 5/10

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