Clive Owen is a man approaching the end of his tether. His marriage is becoming stagnant, his job at an advertising firm is no better, and he is worried about his daughter, who has type 1 diabetes. He and his wife have set aside a lot of money to pay for an experimental drug for her. One day, on a train, he meets Jennifer Aniston. A friendship is sparked, and then an affair begins, only to be violently disrupted by Vincent Cassel. He brutalizes both, and begins to blackmail Owen for ever-inc…easing sums of money.
We’ve seen this thriller before. Its plot is close to being generic (as are the comments made in the making-of featurette — how long before Hitchcock is mentioned? Start your stopwatch.). The major plot twists are so obvious that the audience is left marking time, waiting for the characters to catch up. That being said, Owen gets much mileage out of his long-suffering hangdog look, and Cassel is energetically creepy. Aniston, however, is badly miscast. Don’t be misled by her top-billing, however: hers is little more than a minor supporting role. And don’t ask how exactly this “unrated” version pushes any boundaries, because it doesn’t.
The sound is first-rate from beginning to end. The music is enveloping and has a strong bass line. The placement of the sound effects is excellent, making full use of each individual speaker. So whether the sound is a dog barking, a train pulling out or a crowd in a bar, there is always a strong sense of physical space and location. The left-right separation is also very good, and the dialogue never distorts.
The image is sharp, and is presented in a handsome 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen aspect ratio. There is a little bit of grain, but it is far from severe, and there is no noticeable edge enhancement. The colours, though, are extremely variable. They start off rather pale and washed out, improve dramatically, and then fade out again. Back and forth they go throughout the film. The blacks remain good, but the wavering colours mean the flesh tones switch from healthy to deathly ill and back again.
Testifying to the film’s box office thud is the dearth of features. A standard-issue making-of featurette is joined by three deleted scenes and the theatrical trailer. There are some ads for other releases that play when the disc loads. The menu’s main screen is animated and scored.
Very much a run-of-the-mill thriller. It is competently assemble, but so rote as to be very predictable and eminently forgettable.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette
- Deleted Scenes