Derailed (15)

Film

Thrillers

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Time Out says

Mon Jan 30 2006

‘They Never Saw It Coming’ goes the tagline of this thriller, but you probably will. When married commuter Charles (Clive Owen) embarks on an illicit affair with the mysterious Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston), trouble follows in the shape of violent thief Philippe LaRoche (Vincent Cassel), who uses his knowledge of their union to blackmail Charles. Naturally, Charles has a sickly child who needs a costly live-saving operation: guess where his savings are going?

Until the action kicks in, this is vaguely engaging: the couple’s flirtation involves and the character of Lucinda intrigues. But the increasingly preposterous plot starts to take on a life of its own, morphing into the sort of twist-addled trash usually reserved for cheap TV thrillers. While Aniston and Owen retain a surprising amount of dignity, Cassel lays on the dastardly villain act a bit thick (much as he did in ‘Ocean’s Twelve’). There are some dark laughs as foolish Charles gets in way over his head, but like the glaring twist signals, it’s hard to tell how intentional they are.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Feb 3, 2006

Duration:

107 mins

Cast and crew

Cast:

Vincent Cassel, Tom Conti, Melissa George, Addison Timlin, Jennifer Aniston, Clive Owen

Director:

Mikael Håfström

Art Director:

Mark Raggett

Production Designer:

Andrew Laws

Editor:

Peter Boyle

Cinematography:

Peter Biziou

Music:

Ed Shearmur

Producer:

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura

Screenwriter:

Stuart Beattie

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Kat in Edinburgh

I was very surprised by the dark nature of this film, and must admit, possibly due to Aniston’s squeaky clean usual portrayal I paid little attention to the blurb. I did not guess the twist, although many say it was obvious. I expected a 'feel good Saturday morning film which does not requiring little or no thought. I usually enjoy Aniston’s genius comedic timing and dismay at what appears to be an endless supply of films well below the ability, and talent she clearly has. I can understand why she is repeatedly cast in comedies as stated previously her comedic timing is an asset to any film. She also has an undoubted appeal to the public, but I often question WHY does she not pick better scripts? Perhaps she is not offered them, if that is the case her agent needs to put some work in and earn his/her commission. Derailed was a definite deviation from the norm for her, and I found certain scenes shocking and violent, evoking genuine sympathy for the characters who. Due to this I was initially able to pass off as bland the clichéd life Owens’ character led. I found the speed of both characters demise dubious but initially assumed this was due to them both being forced to dive into a world that could not have been further from the lives the world thought they were leading. It may have been an editorial time saving tool, but the choices of Clive Owen's character, in particular were possibly supposed to be the actions of a desperate man, but they were unbelievable, even accounting for the lengths some will go to cover up lies and deception. It's my belief that he would not have resorted to such unlawful ways to escape his nightmare situation. Even a man desperate to protect his wife and sick child from the reality of his stupid mistake I find it unlikely a successful professional, would not have acted to prevent the situation descending to the life changing depths it did so rapidly, even allowing for poetic licence we would expect an attempt to take charge of the situation. Perhaps this a deliberate tool to demonstrate the power and lure of Aniston's character and his willingness to protect her, forsaking the manner he would normally acted in. The end was almost unbearable as I was struck by what I can only assume was a poor/weak attempt to wind the film up ensuring there were no loose ends. I'd have preferred a few questions left unanswered than the amateur almost audible checklist we were subjected to, with the absolute worst and totally unbelievable few lines regarding the contents of the hotel’s safe, I shall not spoil the 'surprise' for anyone who has not seen the film. Despite the flaws, I have perhaps been a bit harsh in highlighting, I thought Aniston in particular played a fantastic part and it was an inspired piece of casting. It may well have been because it was so far removed from her normal rolls that the shocking nature of the crimes the couple were subjected to was accentuated I would recommend this film but in what I think may be a career first for Aniston this should be regarded as a main event film, rather than the B movie/ 'feel good chick flick' we are accustomed to seeing her in. I would urge the viewer to pay attention to the classification, and I feel although it has been placed in the ‘15’ category, I suspect it was very close to attracting an ‘18’ certificate. Obviously I don’t have a list of the criteria used to classify films so this is simply my opinion, I just know that I was shocked and a bit distressed by at least one scene. As well as the general malevolent feeling throughout the film.

Sean Ellis

This is one of those weak Hollywood films where characters are reduced to little more than plot elements who behave, not according to human nature, but merely to propel the action towards the next outlandish plot-point. Best suited to watching during a saturday morning hangover, when brain-lag may be sufficient to compensate for all of the signposting.

Technoguy

A good well-plotted film which doesn't lay on the violence too thick but when it occurs can be shocking. The two leads are not George Clooney and Michelle Feiffer and there is little or no chemistry,but given the double-cross story that seems appropriate. What really caught me off guard was Jennifer Anistan as the bad girl with a respectable front.Clive Owen does these kind of films like sleep walking but this suits him better than Shoot'Em Up or Sin City where he's in danger of becoming stereotyped.Liked this film. Go see it.