“I bet you twenty bucks that without touching your lips,
I can still give you a Hershey kiss. D’oh!”

Strangers on a Train Wreck

Want to rent a wreck? By all means, rent “Derailed.” With such easy on the eyes actors (courtesy of Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston), why resist in being suckered in. And check it – the movie is billed as a “thriller” so it automatically means the screenplay is full of surprises. Can you hang on to the twists and turns a blind man won’t even see coming?

“Derailed” contains the most original story, if you never watched a movie in your life. It’s about these beautiful strangers who cross paths. They meet on the train, because duh, that’s where all gorgeous people are these days. This business guy named Charles (Clive Owen) forgot to pay for his ticket, then this hot woman named Lucinda (Rachel Green) offers to pay for it. That scene is so authentic that I might want to forget paying for train ticket next time. But I’m not stupid as to try it here in New York as I have yet to see it happen. I’d do it in Chicago, where the film takes place.

So anyway, Charles and Lucinda hit it off. She acts like a good girl and he tells her he’s been saving a lot of dough for his sick daughter. You know, typical chat. Then after some reluctance, they give in to their sexual urges and head to a bait motel to do the bone dance. That’s all I’m going to say, because the movie turns shocking. It’s like inserting a wet finger into an electrical outlet. Nah-uh. You won’t hear a peep from me.

But I will give you hint. A bad guy (Vincent Cassel) comes into the picture. That’s all I’m going to say – I swear.

The key in enjoying this movie is not to think too much. Don’t even predict as to what’s going to happen, because if it turns out you’re right, you’re not going to be happy, are you? And you know who else won’t be happy? The screenwriter Stuart Beattie, who adapts it from James Seigel’s novel. You see, he’d like to think he’s smarter than you. You’d break his ego if you say you saw the end coming, when the movie’s precise tagline is “They Never Saw It Coming.” So close your eyes when you see it coming, you hear? Don’t discourage him. The man did write “Collateral,” which is far superior to “Derailed.”

And oh yeah, I think it’d be in your best interest, if you root for the villain on this one. I mean, Clive Owen is a nice guy and all, but the movie is merciless to him. This is no cat and mouse thriller. The movie plays favorite with the cat (the bad guy); the mouse (the good guy) is often a target of torture. I expect this in a horror flick, but not in a thriller. So please, don’t care about Owen’s character. You might feel like punching someone. Instead, channel the anger elsewhere like writing a review of this movie and making it as fun as possible.

Grade: D

Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel, Melissa George, The RZA, Addison Timlin, Tom Conti, Xzibit, Giancarlo Esposito, David Morrissey, Rachel Blake, Georgina Chapman
Screenplay by
Stuart Beattie
Based on the novel by
James Seigel
Directed by
Mikael Hafstrom
Rated R for strong violence, language and some sexuality