Derailed

This suspense thriller is an okay addition to the genre, but it’s definitely not going to set the world on fire nor the box office. I suspect that moviegoers may want to see Jennifer Aniston (Along Came Polly, Bruce Almighty) shine in her first post-Friends role, so the movie may do well in its first week. After that, I expect it to sink. Who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised.

Aniston stars as Lucinda Harris alongside Clive Owen (Sin City, Closer) in this somewhat predictable movie. Owen plays Charles Schine, a married man who encounters Lucinda on a train during his morning commute. She pays his fare when he comes up short, and the “sparks” fly. Except they really don’t. But I can tell I’m supposed to think that they are flying. Sorry, Jennifer Aniston is not a knockout, so I’m not buying that she’s this head-turner who has all the men on the train breaking their collective necks just to get a peek. Charles is open to the idea of getting to know Lucinda better because his marriage is strained. He and his wife are caring for a diabetic child and have stretched their finances to the limit. Thus the door is open for an affair, and Lucinda strolls right through it. The plot thickens when their seemingly impromptu meeting at a hotel goes violently awry. Suddenly getting busted on a late-night creep session by the wife is the least of Charles’ problems. I’ll stop right there. The rest of the movie is comprised of Charles trying to get his life back on track.

I dig these kinds of movies, so I figured I’d check it out, despite the fact that I’m not really a Jennifer Aniston fan. She did an okay job, but the role could’ve been so much more. I can’t figure out if it was the writing or just her performance. She didn’t do anything really wrong, but she didn’t really do anything right either. I will need to see her in something else before I’m convinced that she has any depth or range to speak of. I like Clive Owen, so I think he did a fine job, although nobody will be winning any awards for this one. However, I must say that Vincent Cassel (never heard of him before this) was very good as the villain who terrorizes Owen’s character. Xzibit (XXX: State of the Union) and RZA (of Wu-Tang for you non-hip hop heads) are in this too, so that was kinda interesting. X to the Z is a decent actor, although not much was required of him. RZA was sorta cute as the mail guy at Charles’ job.

This movie was kinda cheesy. I had to laugh when Charles went to the “hood,” and the filmmakers were sure to cue in the “gangsta” rap to make sure the audience knew that Charles was going to encounter some scary ethnic types. If you’re a big Aniston fan, you’ll probably like this. If you’re a fan of really good movies, maybe you better wait for the DVD.

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