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Derailed (2005)
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Review Date: February 03, 2006
Director: Mikael Håfström
Writer: Stuart Beattie
Producers: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Actors:
Clive Owen as Charles
Jennifer Aniston as Lucinda
Vincent Cassel as Phillippe
Plot:
A married man digs a married woman on a train and proceeds to hook up with her in a sleazy New York hotel room. Unfortunately for the man, others find out about his cheating ways and decide to blackmail him about it. What ensues is a man stuck up shit’s creek with ne’er a paddle around.
Critique:
It’s only after seeing this suspense drama that I realized how long it’d been since I’d seen a good one coming out of Lala-land. This film, and its lead dumbfounded male character, reminded me of all those great Michael Douglas and Harrison Ford thrillers from the 80s, in which the lead “nice guy” cheats on his wife and spends the rest of the movie paying for it. The lead “nice guy” in this film is played nicely by the great Clive Owen, who just like those other chumps, sleeps with a woman who is not his wife early on in this movie, and ironically, gets fucked by others for the rest of the film. What I really liked about this movie was its unique way of going about the story though. At first, I was expecting a pretty straight-forward UNFAITHFUL type of flick, but about half an hour into this thing, you realize that there are a lot of other things going on, and I’m generally a fan of movies that keep me guessing. I’m also generally NOT a big fan of Jennifer Aniston, but she was actually decent in this film, reminding me a little of her turn in THE GOOD GIRL (I guess she plays melancholic characters well). The very awesome Vincent Cassel (awesome because he’s a cool actor, but also because he’s married to goddess Monica Bellucci) also comes to play as the not-so-nice guy, who really gives you a taste for revenge and murder. What a creep. But what I liked most about this movie was its ability to consistently make me wonder about the next scene, with the same question running through my mind many a time: how the heck is this guy gonna get out of this pickle? That’s entertaining to me. The not knowing.

Granted, I kinda saw where this film was going early on, but that still didn’t detract from its suspense, as I was never really sure about the final outcome (its got an underlying dark streak skewered right though it) and either way, enjoyed the process of the game very much. Owen was key to all that, playing his overwhelmed character to a tee, confused as ever, frustrated always and all because he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. Small additions from the likes of RZA and Xzibit also helped complete a believable cast. In the end, I think the film added one scene too many, as its real ending was followed by another sequence that didn’t really need to be there and watered down the potent twists that came before it, but if you’re a fan of suspense movies about men who cheat on their wives and the crap that follows them afterwards, I’m sure you’ll get a kick out of this film. Other than the post-ending that I mentioned a few lines ago, the film’s actual conclusion wraps things up extremely tight, a feat that might be appreciated by most out there, but dissed by those looking for “deeper meaning”. Also, if you’re going to sit around and contemplate all of the details of what happened afterwards, I’m sure some of it might not add up, but as things moved along for me, I was hooked, line and pissed-off like the Owen character and by his side all the way. A nice surprise.
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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