I would say it is rare that a “thriller” truly thrills you anymore. Hollywood seems to be in a bit of a phase with biographical films and remakes. Before I get your hopes up, Derailed fails to break this theme of non thrilling thrillers in my view. However, it gets points for a fresh script with a good plot, and good acting to back it up.
Charles is the main character, an advertising executive and practicing “Joe Everyman” who works in the city and lives in the suburbs. His life takes the first of many twists when he meets a charming and flirtatious woman on his daily commute. Their relationship then turns sour after a confrontation with a violent criminal, and Charles takes it upon himself to protect their families.
The acting in this movie is perhaps its saving grace; Clive Owen does his best impression of a regular guy and succeeds. Jennifer Aniston is convincing as a sexy and likeable business woman, for obvious reasons. Early in the movie sees many scenes play out with the two of them simply talking, and while I will admit it was not “thrilling” I did enjoy it.
Most satisfying though, are the supporting roles. Vincent Cassel is fabulous and very convincing as the conniving bad guy, making you want a happy ending oh so badly. Also, Robert “the RZA” Diggs does quite well as Charles’ office friend and mail clerk, almost offering a taste of comic relief.
Comic relief is difficult though, because you will find yourself feeling very sorry for poor Charles. The deterioration of his life drags on, and between trouble at work and a daughter on dialysis, laughing is hard.
Bottom line, I could go either way with this movie. If you like Jennifer Aniston, Clive Owen, and plot twists go see it. If you want an hour and fifty minutes of edge-of-your-seat thrills, you might want to check out another movie. And if you’re a train buff, don’t let the name fool you, it’s a cute play on words and that’s all.
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