Having previously only seen the theatrical trailer for Derailed, I was pleased to finally get a chance to watch it. The movie seemed to be filled with a lot of suspense, but the redundancy of this type of affair movie sort of detoured me. Ultimately, I went into this with expectations of an impressive thriller.
Charles Schine (Clive Owen) is a well-off advertising executive married to a school teacher. Together, they have a teenage daughter. Due to complications with diabetes the couple has to be co…stantly on alert with their daughter, causing them continuous stress and leading to what is ultimately a deteriorating marriage.
While on his way to work, high-strung Charles encounters the captivating Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston). The two are instantly attracted to one another. Charles then makes a point of getting on the same train each day to run into her again, and the two begin seeing each other socially. Eventually, they plan on carrying out the affair at a shady hotel, but before anything can happen a man later found out to be Philippe LaRoche (Vincent Cassel) breaks in and beats Charles, leaving him to helplessly watch Lucinda be raped. The two agree that it is mutually beneficial not to report the crime, in the best interest of their spouses, and they go their separate ways. Before long LaRoche comes back into their lives, blackmailing Charles for $10,000 to keep the affair secret; reluctantly, he pays with money that was to go to his daughterï¿½s medical treatment. A month later LaRoche calls again, this time wanting $100,000, and the real drama begins.
Derailed turns out to be a decent picture in a tired genre, this kind of thing having been done time and time again. I can sum up this type of movie for you with just a few choice words: an illicit affair gone horribly wrong followed by a cat-and-mouse tale with an absurd amount of attempted twists and plot holes. The intensity at times brings you to the edge of your seat, but at other times is very predictable and inane. Overall, though, Derailed is an enjoyable movie.
As can be expected, Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston are strong in their roles, although pretty simplistic with rough edges. I never underestimated Anistonï¿½s acting abilities, so it wasnï¿½t a surprise to see her in this kind of role, but it sure was refreshing to see her stretch her wings a bit. The real surprise for me was the acting ability of The Wu Tang Clanï¿½s de facto leader, RZA, playing the role of Charlesï¿½ sympathetic ex-con co-worker, Winston, an unequivocally short-sighted character who beyond the surface is very deep, yet clearly afflicted. Not to say RZAï¿½s was the best acting of the movie, but it was the most surprising, and much better than the other rap star in the movie, Xzibit.
If youï¿½re a fan of movies like Unfaithful or A Perfect Murder, then youï¿½re sure to like Derailed. It offers a fresh take on its genre of suspenseful movies revolving around the infidelity of a married people.
Presented in 1080p 2.35:1, Derailed has a surprisingly good-looking transfer. The print is in fine form, details are sharp and clear, and thereï¿½s no visible softness throughout the film. Flesh tones are realistic, never looking too bright. Colours look good for the most part, but I often found them looking a little watered down, compared to other newer releases. For instance, the initial meeting between Aniston and Owen looked a bit too blue compared to the rest of the film. There is also occasional grain scattered throughout the film, but it never becomes a distraction. Minor inconsistencies aside, Derailed is one fine looking film.
Derailed has received the Dolby Digital Plus 5.1 treatment, and overall it sounds pretty good. The problem I had with this track was the lack the depth, often sounding way to front-heavy for its own good. The odd time we hear a gun shot through the rear channels, but otherwise we hear very little from them. The good news is the dialogue is consistently clear throughout. In all, a solid audio effort, but one that falls a bit short compared to other HD DVDs in similar genres.
Very lacklustre in the Special Features department, Derailed offers up only a few semi-interesting titbits.
- Deleted Scenes ï¿½ 10 minutes worth of scenes, presented in 480p. Theyï¿½re ultimately unnecessary, but interesting enough to check out at least once.
- The Making of Derailed Documentary ï¿½ I donï¿½t know if I would call this a making-of documentary myself. The eight-minute short is basically a summary of the movieï¿½s premise, so itï¿½s not worth watching at all.
- Theatrical Trailer ï¿½ Standard fare, but nice to have on the disc.
Derailed offers up very impressive video quality with lacklustre audio and special features. Match that up with mediocre film and you have an overall sub-par disc. For fans of the movie, Iï¿½m sure the great video transfer is enough to warrant a purchase, but otherwise I would have to recommend a rental before buying this disc.
Special Features List
- Deleted Scenes
- The Making of Derailed Documentary
- Theatrical Trailer