Deidra & Laney Rob a Train (2017)
Watch Deidra & Laney Rob a Train on Netflix
Written by: Shelby Farrell
Directed by: Sydney Freeland
Starring: Ashleigh Murray, Rachel Crow
When their mom goes to jail, two teenage girls rob trains to raise bail money.
What's the point of this movie? It's not funny enough to be a comedy, and the adults are too absurd for this to be a drama. This takes a typical story of kids left without an adult and provides a unique solution, but lacks any meaningful impact or reason to care. It's a surface deep look at a dysfunctional family, that doesn't go anywhere. They rob trains and then what? Nothing.
Deidra and Laney's mom flips out at a Good Buy, not a Best Buy. That may be the cleverest thing in this movie, other than the Pear electronics.
Without a guardian, the bills are piling up and the girls need to raise bail money. The premise is absolutely ridiculous, but the movie has built the foundation to make the jump to robbing trains. Deidra has been established as helping students cheat for money and her dad works at a train yard. There's only one logical place to go... train robbing. Turns out it's incredibly easy.
The school guidance counselor is on board with Deidra's plan because if Deidra gets into a good school, the counselor can leave the town and get a better job. She's an accessory to grand larceny, and her concern is finding a better job.
This could almost be a satire, but I can't make the connection. Likely because there is no connection and I'm giving this movie too much credit. This ends up being corny. Deidra and Laney are set up well, but it feels like the writer gave up on any additional characters. Do railroad police exist? Can they carry fire arms? The railroad police officer is another completely absurd adult. I'm convinced the actor thought this was a comedy and was shocked to realize this was supposed to be a drama. He realized that after he filmed all his scenes.
The train robbing feels like an idea that wasn't researched. Sometimes a movie can sell me on the people knowing what they're talking about, but I never believed the train robbing. It always felt fabricated to make the story work. There's no point to this. The mom gets bailed out, but this doesn't bring the family together, and there are no consequences for their crimes. I'm okay with them not facing consequences, but the movie should at least establish the consequences or danger. It treats those deeds very lightly.