On Derailed

I hadn’t been to the movies in a while, and I decided to rectify that.

Derailed. The new Clive Owen/Jennifer Aniston film. I knew very little about the film going in. It’s based on a novel by someone (I’ve seen it in Barnes & Noble and Target), it’s about a married man who meets a woman on a commuter train, contemplates having an affair, and then all sorts of shit happen after a botched tryst. The only other thing I knew was what little I read in Entertainment Weekly last week, an interview with Owen and Aniston that said that there were some major and shocking plot twists along the way.

However. I’ve seen no commercials. I’ve seen no trailers.

Still, I was intrigued enough to plunk down my $8.50. I like Clive Owen. I like Jennifer Aniston, though not for Friends. Sorry, it’s a horribly overrated television show. (Shout out to you, Bill Leisner.)

And how was Derailed?

It’s got plot twists. It’s mildly surprising. It’s also incredibly boring — whole sections of the film drag horribly. Clive Owen, a usually dependable actor, looks bored most of the time. Jennifer Aniston seems out-of-place amid all this mess. The one actor who actually seems to be enjoying all this is Gioncarlo Esposito, and I couldn’t help but think of his character from Homicide‘s final season every time he was on screen.

Derailed feels very much like a made-for-television movie. So, what went wrong? What could have made this better? Frankly, the story just wasn’t that interesting. I didn’t feel that the Clive Owen character was really that much in jeopardy, even though the stakes progressively increased. On the other hand, he’s an incredibly lucky bastard.

I can’t think of a reason to see Derailed. The direction was competant, but the acting was uninspired and the story was uninvolving. Wait for free cable.

Published by Allyn

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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