Saturday 27 April 2024

Movie Review: Derailed (2005)

Genre: Romantic Crime Drama Thriller  
Director: Mikael Håfström  
Starring: Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel  
Running Time: 106 minutes  

Synopsis: In the Chicago area, marketing executive Charles Schine (Clive Owen) is married to school teacher Deanna (Melissa George) and father to diabetic teenager Amy (Addison Timlin). On the train into town he meets fellow commuter Lucinda Harris (Jennifer Aniston), and they are attracted to each other. Just as they are about to consummate their affair, criminal Philippe LaRoche (Vincent Cassel) bursts into their hotel room, stealing their money, beating Charles senseless, and raping Lucinda. But worse is to come for Charles, as Philippe starts blackmailing him for large sums of money.

What Works Well: In this cautionary tale about the hazards of infidelity, writer Stuart Beattie constructs a hectic, high-pressure environment to nudge Charles towards danger. Financial pressure, under-performance at work, a busy schedule eroding his time with wife Deanna, and an ill child all contribute to one lapse in judgment. But that's all it takes, and once LaRoche sinks his claws into the vulnerable would-be philanderer, all that Charles holds dear is threatened. Clive Owen and Jennifer Anniston are an appealing lead couple, but Vince Cassel steals the spotlight as a brute of a villain. A couple of narrative twists contribute to a gripping final act.

What Does Not Work As Well: A few unlikely logic leaps are required to make the plot work. 

Conclusion: A smooth ride towards well-crafted perils.

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