"Find hungry samurai" -Gisaku

00647 – DERAILED


There isn’t a whole lot to say about DERAILED (new on video today). Actually, there is quite a bit to say, but I don’t want to say it.

You see, DERAILED is part of the movie tradition not seen too much these days: Film Noir. When it comes right down to it, your knowledge of Film Noir is probably everything you need to know here.

If you are a Film Noir buff, like me, DERAILED will seem fairly predictable. That’s not a bad thing. Film Noir as a genre demands that the films be set up the same way. It is in the minute details, and the execution of story that a Film Noir movie goes from so-so to great.

I’d actually much rather write a column on great Film Noir movies you should watch, but most of you heathens are loathe to check out any release that predates the Ashton Kutcher era, so we’re left with this.

Rating Guide

Suspension of Disbelief: 6 (out of 10) Film Noir is about as unbelievable as you can get without stepping into the world of Fantasy. However, the key to remember is that everything is supposed to be real, and I guess it all could happen to one poor guy.

Genre Grade: Obviously Film Noir. There are a lot of duds in the genre, but some greats too, and DERAILED merits no more than a C- in this heady field.

Sex/Violence? Not a kid’s film. There is definitely some sex and violence, two hallmarks of the genre (although; the film actually could have used more). The one over-the-top scene is blurred, and I think you’ll be fine. Let’s put it this way: my mother could see this.

Kickassability: 8 (out of 100), and only because they try hard at the end. We’re a long way from any of Owen’s other characters.

Pantheon Percentile: It’s hard to rate FILM NOIR in the pantheon. After all, except for the very best in the genre, most Film Noir movies wouldn’t go too high against the rest of the field. Anyway, I suppose have the movies ever made are worse, so I’ll sit in the middle of the road: 50.

Now, I’m assuming most of you are NOT familiar with Film Noir. If that’s the case, and you have a hankering to see DERAILED, then do everything in your power not to find out the “rules” of the genre. Just check out the film. Most people are usually pleasantly surprised when they see their first Film Noir, because they didn’t know what to expect. Then, after you’ve seen it, if you have a taste for the genre, come back to me and I’ll give you some real morsels to try out.

What’s left? The acting is decent. Clive Owen is cast against type as the guy who gets in over his head. Normally you’d see Owen in the more menacing role, but he does fine in an understated performance. I thought Jennifer Aniston was a bit overmatched here, but she does her best, and if you’re a Jennifer Aniston fan chances subtlety isn’t your thing anyway, so odds are you’ll like her.

The camerawork and dialogue are decently done and effectively presented and….aaach! I’m tired of writing about this movie. It’s not bad or anything, but just uninspiring. I’ll write a longer review when there’s a better one.

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