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"Derailed" (Unrated Widescreen Edition)
Reviewed by: Mark Allred
Genre: Thriller
Video: Widescreen 2.35:1
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages English
Subtitles English, Spanish
Length 112 minutes
Rating UR
Release Date March 21, 2006
Studio Miramax Films
Commentary: None
Documentaries: None
Featurettes: "The Making of Derailed"
Filmography/Biography: None
Interviews: None
Trailers/TV Spots: None
Alternate/Deleted Scenes: 5 minutes of additional footage not seen in theaters and deleted scenes.
Music Video: None
Other: None
Cast and Crew:

Clive Owen, Jennifer Anniston, Vincent Cassel, RZA, Tom Conti, Xzibit, Addison Timlin, Melissa George, and Catherine McCord.

Written By: James Siegel (novel) and Stuart Beattie (screenplay)
Produced By: Lorenzo di Bonaventura
Directed By: Mikael Haftstrom
Music: Edward Shearmur
The Review:

Derailed starts out as a very impressive thriller, and then ends up somewhat mainstream and unimpressive. The first half is the best part of the movie, as we follow Charles (Clive Owen), a man with a life that is slowly falling apart. His daughter Amy (Addison Timlin) has diabetes, and Charles and his wife Deanna (Melissa George) have spent most of their savings paying for failed kidney transplants. Charles and his wife have lost some of the marital spark, with both of them consuming themselves with work and taking care of Amy. Charles works for a mid-size company, where he deals with advertisements for semi- serious companies. He meets Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston) on a train to work, where he discovers that his wife has taken the money out of his wallet, and he cannot pay for his ticket. Lucinda generously offers to pay for his nine dollar ticket, and Charles, who is greatly attracted to her, believes it only necessary to talk to Lucinda and thank her for her generosity.***

The real action picks up at this point as the plot follows Charles and Lucinda as they start off with having lunch together. Lunch leads to drinks at the bar, drinks at the bar lead to a kiss (in a rather funny way), and a kiss leads to seemingly the grungiest hotel in Chicago. The chemistry between these two characters fills the gap that is missing in Charles' marriage and it immediately draws the viewer in. Before the romance can get too heated, a mugger, later identified as Phillipe Laroche (played by Vincent Cassel, who cannot get his character past his role in Oceans 12), busts in the door, and puts a gun to Lucinda's head. Charles tries to be the hero, but fails miserably, and LaRoche knocks him unconscious with the butt of his gun, and proceeds to take their money and rape Lucinda.***

After this rape, the characters choose not to notify the police, and they believe the ordeal to be all over. LaRoche has other plans, however, and starts stalking Charles, demanding large sums of money. There is only one place that Charles can get this money, and that is from their savings fund that is supposed to go for his daughter's next kidney transplant. Charles enlists the help of his office buddy, Winston, to help him scare LaRoche. Winston is played by rapper RZA, and he gives the best, and most convincing performance as a man trying to get his life back on track after strings of arrests earlier in his life. His character is complex, and serves as really the only three dimensional character in the film. The rest of the plot is hard to put down without giving too much away about the ending. From the scenes following Charles and Winston's attempts to scare LaRoche, the film starts to Derail itself, moving towards more mainstream thriller tactics. Even if you cannot predict the ending, there comes a point in the film that seems so "already done" so to speak. Be prepared for a turret of twists that turn this great thriller potential into just another thriller.***

Image and Sound:

Image and Sound: There is nothing special really about the cinematography of the film. It seems so standard and does not really add to, or detract from, for that matter, anything. It does not intensify or dull the action of the movie, leaving the characters and writing to that sole task.***

The sound is nothing spectacular either. The Dolby Digital 5.1 is misused here, and it sounds completely average. It allows for the film to sound like your average thriller.***

The Extras:

There are only a few extras on the DVD. There is a short featurette called, astoundingly, "The Making of Derailed" which isn't all that exciting, just your round-of-the-mill featurette. The DVD also supplies five minutes of never before seen footage, which really did not need to be in the film. The final extra is a bunch of deleted scenes that are better off deleted.***

Commentary: None
Final Words:

Derailed starts off as a really impressive thriller, but turns out as just an average piece, using (more than once) serious plot twists that do nothing for the story but make it end. Clive Owen gives a pretty good performance, showing us that he can play the "man of mystery" very well. Jennifer Aniston gives her best performance since Office Space and really helps the film along. Don't forget to look for the superb acting of RZA, who gives the best performance of them all.

 

 
 
 
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