By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated May 07, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

In an unlikely novelty pairing, two aging rulers of the French pop-culture kingdom get to admire each other’s crowns in Man on the Train, an autumnal movie about an unlikely novelty pairing of a vagabond bank robber and a retired schoolteacher in a small French burg. Grizzled rock & roll star Johnny Hallyday — known to his peeps as ”the French Elvis” — plays a cool, taciturn loner in a leather jacket, who blows into town to knock off a local bank; durable leading man Jean Rochefort — known to those who saw ”Lost in La Mancha” as Don Quixote — plays a garrulous bachelor bored by his life of routine in a house cluttered with tchotchkes. The premise, the structure, and the men-at-twilight conversation in Patrice Leconte’s ingratiating drama feel cloyingly predetermined at times, but the sight of Hallyday and Rochefort luxuriating in their contrasting manly personas is a kick.