Plot: What’s it about?
“Derailed” is the movie in which Jennifer Aniston fans have been waiting for. For everyone out there that’s sick of seeing her on every magazine cover and how she’s “coping with loss” of her ex-husband – this is it. For those that liked her in her “Friends” persona, she’s made a handful of movies that will more than satisfy you. “Rumor Has It”, “The Object of My Affection” and “Along Came Polly” are a few that come to mind. But in “Derailed”, that image is all but shattered as the movie delves deep into the recesses of film noir mixed in with the right amount of sexual tension. After all is said and done, though, this is more of a Clive Owen movie. Owen, who seemingly came out of nowhere a few years back, has been working hard in some critically-acclaimed movies like “Sin City”, “Closer” and Spike Lee’s upcoming “Inside Man”. And with this film, he gets a chance to expand on his roles: playing the father of a sick child while at the same time having an affair.
Owen plays Charles Schine, a Chicago-based Advertising Director whose daughter is stricken with diabetes. She’s had some unsuccessful liver transplants that haven’t taken and he’s stockpiling his money in hopes that a miracle cure will help her. After a chance encounter on a commuter train, he meets Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston), a financial analyst, and the attraction is immediate. The two talk, meet up and head to a hotel room and from there are mugged by a relentless man named LaRoche (Vincent Cassel). The two decide not to report the incident to the authorities as it would damager their professional and personal lives. LaRoche uses this opportunity to blackmail them both for every cent they have. Will Charles and Lucinda find a way out of the mess or will the malevolent LaRoche come out on top?
“Derailed” is a lot better than I thought it would be, the movie was a dismal failure at the box office last Fall and the reviews weren’t that flattering. Swedish director Mikael Håfström has assembled a very diverse cast here and it’s clear that Aniston and Owen share some great on-screen chemistry. Vincent Cassel nearly steals the show as LaRoche, but with strong performances from the supporting cast – it makes the film that much more strong. “Derailed” is the classic example of a movie finding new life on DVD and with five more minutes of “unrated” footage, there’s a bit more to it than seen in theaters. While a purchase of “Derailed” is up in the air, I’d recommend it for a rental at the very least. Proof that there’s more than meets the eye…
Video: How does it look?
“Derailed” is shown in a very good-looking 2.35:1 anamorphic transfer. The movie is dark for the most part but the transfer handles it very well. The black levels are right on target and though the daytime scenes are a bit oversaturated, I was fairly impressed. The film has a gritty look and feel to it that certainly fits with the theme. I noticed no edge enhancement and a few scenes had the tiniest bit of dirt on the print (this could have been the unrated footage, but I didn’t see the movie in the theaters – so I don’t know). On the whole, nothing much wrong here and it’s consistent with a new to DVD release.
Audio: How does it sound?
The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is about what we’d expect for an action/thriller. There are some good scenes that really make use of the surround sound and the surround speakers are surprisingly active during the entire movie. The soundtrack is full of action and though this isn’t a movie that “screams” good sound, it impressed me. Dialogue is clean and natural while the LFE gave some added ambiance to other scenes.
Supplements: What are the extras?
There’s not much to offer in terms of supplements. There are three deleted scenes and a standard “Making of Derailed” featurette that features interviews with the cast and crew. The movie is also available in a theatrical version, but I’m thinking more people would buy the unrated version given the choice. A good thriller, “Derailed” does come up short in the supplements department but should suffice for a rental.