587: The Great Train Robbery Release Date: 2000 Genre: Family | Comedy | Drama Director(s): Dan T. Hall Writer(s): Dan T. Hall and David R. Lister Staring:Ran Burns, Nicholas Abeel and Ariadne Baker-Dunn Before I start, let me once again point out the fallacy that MTI Home Video releases Bug Off!, The Bike Squad, and […]

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587: The Great Train Robbery
Release Date: 2000
Genre: Family | Comedy | Drama
Director(s): Dan T. Hall
Writer(s): Dan T. Hall and David R. Lister
Staring:Ran Burns, Nicholas Abeel and Ariadne Baker-Dunn

Before I start, let me once again point out the fallacy that MTI Home Video releases Bug Off!, The Bike Squad, and the latest in their messy genre, 587: The Great Train Robbery, have in common. You see that bubbly, little redhead on the cover? Yeah, she’s not in the film. Hell, the little girl in the film, who is really in more of a supporting role, doesn’t even have red hair. That badly cropped old man poking his head out to catch a glimpse of some not-so-jailbait material may be, but that girl certainly is not.

And so goes 587: The Great Train Robbery. Directed and written by a guy who sure does love himself some steam engines, it’s another direct-to-video kids’ flick that, unlike Disney material, makes no attempt to appeal to the adults in the audience. 587 completes this task by presenting the usual group of nine year olds with a seemingly impossible task; save a classic steam locomotive from being scrapped. To do this, Alex and sister, Molly (the aforementioned, but not pictured, “redhead”), with the help of the old and ailing engineer, Rusty, have to get the train hundreds of the miles away to the train museum all by themselves.

Just like Bug Off! and The Bike Squad, it doesn’t take long for you to develop an intense dislike for the main characters. Saving a classic steam engine may be an amicable feat, but the fact that they steal from their parents, destroy property, and don’t even leave a note when they hop on a train with a slightly creepy old man just doesn’t sit with me right. If there’s one thing that the film does have going for it is the fact that director Dan Hall is a huge fan of steam engines, having produced a documentary on them in the past. The majority of these films are directed in the same tepid way, but Hall’s a good man behind the wheel. He’s finished another children’s film that MTI will probably end up distributing in the future.

There’s a few cute points, but fore the most part, it’s just a bad film. Bug Off! can be enjoyed because it can be treated like an MSTK3000 episode. 587, however, is just bland.

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