Derailed (2005) Starring: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel Director: Mikael Håfström Genre: Drama, Thriller Rated: R for strong violence, language, and sexuality Duration: 1h 50m Plot: Advertising executive Charles Schine (Owen) is just another Chicago commuter who one day he misses his train and meets Lucinda Harris (Aniston), changing his life forever. Despite the fact that each are married with children, lunch dates quickly become cocktails after work, and before long, their infatuation leads them to a hotel room. The affair goes terribly awry when LaRoche (Cassel), a brutal stranger, breaks into their room and holds them at gunpoint. This once illicit liaison turns into a nightmare more dangerous and violent than either could have ever imagined. Charles’ life soon becomes filled with deception, blackmail, violence, and crime. Unable to confide in his wife or speak to the police, Charles finds himself trapped in a world he doesn’t recognize, with no trace of the life he once knew.
My Review: I watched Derailed (2005) this weekend and enjoyed it a little more than I expected. It was panned by the critics and earned only a mildly impressive haul ($36M) at the box office back in 2005, but I’ve consistently enjoyed Clive Owen, so I thought I’d give it a try. First off, it’s not for the faint of heart or squeemish as there is plenty of violence (shootings, stabbings, etc.) and even a rape scene which goes on longer than I thought was needed (we had the ‘unrated’ version though, so it might have been lighter otherwise).
Once you get past those aspects the story really isn’t anything terribly new or unique but, the delivery is well done and the cast members were all well placed in their roles. I still look at Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Green (Friends) and both my wife and I gasped at her repeated use of the F-bomb (as a verb nonetheless!). Clive Owen is once again excellent in his usual “man in a bad situation who keeps his cool and looks cool doing it” role. Melissa George does just about all she can with her role as Owen’s wife. I liked Vincent Cassel better in this role than his Ocean’s 12 villain character as he perfectly delivers a slimey and intimidating thug turned blackmailer.
As I noted, the story is fairly predictable and I could see around most of the turns for the first hour and a half, but then I was certainly surprised by the ending. If you enjoy thrillers and can handle the violence (it’s not pervasive, just intense when it arrives) I’d recommend giving Derailed a try. Be sure to avoid any spoilers, otherwise you won’t have much left on this one.
My rating: 3/5 stars High point: Clive Owen doing his tough guy thing Low point: Waiting through predictable parts for the good parts