Derailed Arrives Safely At Its Destination, Fifteen Minutes Late At Union Gate 14.
I saw this film because I was convinced that it didn’t exist. The recent case of a fake film critic had confirmed what I had always suspected, which is that film reviewers aren’t actually people, they’re just walking collections of quippy remarks easily quotable on movie posters. It stands to reason, then, that if there are fake critics to bolster crappy films, there must be fake films to bolster crappy critics. Derailed seems like just such a movie, with easy targets in the lead and title that couldn’t have been focus-grouped to be more pun-friendly. There’s nothing a film critic likes more than tearing apart a movie that’s doomed to failure. They’re like vultures circling a retarded child who got lost in the desert. Everyone knows the thing’s going to die and stink, but still they gang up on it, and even though for a moment you feel bad about the poor thing, with its top-heavy Down’s Syndrome head and mewling thick-tongued cries for help, nothing can stop the critics from feasting on the corpse. They wait until it’s safe, and the movie’s nice and dead, and all the other vultures have shown up so they don’t have to be the first to dive, and then frenetically type things like “Derailed goes off the tracks”. Then they laugh at their own jokes so loudly they almost drown out the little voice in the back of their head perpetually lamenting the fact that they got a degree in Film Studies instead of Film Production.
Sadly enough, Derailed does exist, for a purpose other than to work the title into stupid Arts & Entertainment section headlines. The purpose is apparently to try and confuse members of the audience who have never seen a movie before with elaborate twists and turns that are only predictable if you’re paying attention, which you probably won’t be the minute Jennifer Aniston shows up. Aniston succeeds only in not being Rachel from Friends; the rest of her character is generic, uninteresting, and average. I suppose there’s something to be said for the fact that most people are generic and average, or else it wouldn’t be the average, but since the basis of this film is a romance, it’s necessary that at least one of the parties involved is appealing. Especially if the other party is a grizzled Englishman who perpetually looks like he’s on day two of a four day drunk. Aniston plays a married woman who starts an affair with equally married Clive Owen, a mean-looking fellow two steps to the left of a soccer hooligan. On their first date, they’re attacked by Vincent Cassel, a refuge from French action films looking to follow the path from stock film foreigner to kung-fu B-movie co-star blazed by Christopher Lambert. Intrigue, blackmail, and several bad rappers follow, none of which were very effective and doing anything but making me check my watch, and check this movie off of my list of possible fake movie titles.