STUDIO: Weinstein Company
MSRP: $29.95
RATED: Unrated
RUNNING TIME: 112 Minutes
The Making of Derailed featurette
Deleted scenes
5 minutes of additional footage not seen in theaters

(Just a quick note to say that this marks my 100th review for CHUD and I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank Mr. Nick and Mr. Dave for giving a fan of the site a chance to contribute and also to thank anyone who’s bothered to glance at or perhaps even to read a few lines of my work. I’ve always considered this gig a lot of fun, and these are a great bunch of guys to work with, especially (I Heart) George Merchan who always makes my shit look nice up on the page. I hope to continue with CHUD for along time to come and hope all my regular readers out there keep on reading. You two guys are great. Thanks again.)

Derailed Plot Twist #1: a drunken night with Jennifer Aniston turns into a horror-filled morning with Poochie the Wonder Terrier…

The Pitch

Turns out sleeping with Jennifer Aniston is even harder than you thought…and surprisingly much more dangerous.

The Humans

Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Vincent Cassel, Melissa George, the RZA, Xzibit and Giancarlo Esposito.

"I can’t believe they just let Pierce go like that…"

The Nutshell

Chicago ad exec Charles Schine’s (Owen) normal, suburban life is chugging along at a relatively uninteresting pace. His wife (Melissa George) is more a roommate that he sees in passing than his spouse and his daughter (Addison Timlin) suffers from advanced Type 1 diabetes, which has put a financial strain on the Schine household. Things get interesting for Schine, however, when he meets the sultry Lucinda Harris (Aniston) by chance on the commuter train. Like Schine, Lucinda is a suburban career woman with a disinterested husband and a young daughter. Casual conversation turns into drinks, drinks turn into a trip to the nearest fleabag hotel for a quick romp on the establishment’s queen size. But before Schine can get to second base, the interlude is interrupted by the thuggish hotel front desk clerk, LaRoche (Cassel), who robs them both at gunpoint, beats the tar out of Schine, and repeatedly rapes Lucinda.

Derailed Plot Twist #2: The sudden, vengeful appearance of Ross Geller…

A demoralized Lucinda refuses to let Schine call the police and only wants to forget the entire situation ever happened for fear that her husband will find out and take her daughter away from her. Schine, who also doesn’t want to let his wife know, reluctantly agrees. Unfortunately for both of them though, that’s not the end of LaRoche’s intentions toward them. LaRoche shakes down Schine for 20 grand, which Schine is forced to pay. When LaRoche then wants 100 grand, he shows up at Schine’s house to make his point (nutsack-fully) painfully clear. Schine is forced to seek out help in the form of his co-worker, Winston (RZA), an ex-con with whom he’s forged a friendship ever since not turning him in for stealing computers from the office. Winston offers to kick LaRoche’s ass for 10% of what LaRoche is asking, but unfortunately for Schine, and really unfortunately for Winston, that plan is literally blown to hell. So when LaRoche and his accomplice (Xzibit) are threatening to put a non-natural hole in Lucinda’s head, Schine is then forced to pay up. But when Schine comes under suspicion from the police, he’s forced to track down LaRoche in order to get his money back, and discovers a few surprises along the way.

Aniston tried to warn Owen that the whole Leprechaun thing was no bullshit, but some guys just won’t listen…

The Lowdown

At first I didn’t quite know what to make of this flick. The first half fairly creeps along until the hotel scene and then kicks it up a gear from then on until the Reservoir Dogs-style climax. There’s also a semi-ridiculous epilogue involving Schine and one of the main cast members that threatens to (ahem) derail the movie. I’ve seen Owen in plenty of things but never really studied him as he’s never had to carry a movie I’ve seen him in until now. Offhand I’d say he was decent in this film and I can start to see now why he was at the top of the 007 buzz for the longest time (Am I the only one who sees George Lazenby there?) He does have a few shades of Dwight McCarthy here, though. Aniston is quietly alluring as Lucinda and you really feel for what happened to her in the hotel scene. But the two characters that really pop in Derailed are Cassel as the crazy French bastard LaRoche, who chews enough scenery to get a stomach ache; and likewise RZA as Winston is quite good, though he lays the ghetto on a bit too much. The excellent Giancarlo Esposito is criminally underused here as Detective Church. And Xzibit doesn’t get much to do except for point a gun and look like a thug, which, if you’re a fan of his show, Pimp My Ride, you know he’s capable of popping the more than occasional bit of humor.

Derailed Plot Twist #3: The Ugly Naked Guy car-jacking…

In case you haven’t heard, there is a twist late in Derailed, but to reference anything about it at all would spoil the entire movie and I’ve been doing this long enough to know that that ain’t cool. I should have seen the twist coming, but I’ll admit it got me, and that’s all I can safely say about it. Overall, the movie does take a bit too long to get going, but once it does, it’s a decent watch, although you’d be surprised that some of the characters are able to get away with what they do. And Schine in particular heads down a couple of paths that turn more toward hair-brained plot devices than anything any logically-thinking guy might do. None more so than the epilogue. It’s not a bad attempt at a thriller though and succeeds more than it fails.

"Oh yeah, Poochie, a little to the left…down a bit…oh yeah…"

The Package

The artwork is pretty by-the-numbers and unremarkable. I look at it and wonder what everybody seems to be looking at because they’re all looking in different directions. The sound is available in Dolby Digital and the visuals in 2.35:1, which is a fairly unusual choice because most of the film is set in interiors and there’s very few open landscapes to really be showcased. As far as features, there’s five minutes of extra footage (though nothing that screams “UNRATED”). There’s three deleted scenes totaling more than ten minutes that were deleted for good reason and also a theatrical trailer. There’s also the boilerplate making-of that runs about seven minutes and is mostly talking head pieces. You won’t be buying or renting this for the features that’s for sure.

Owen: "Bring da motherfuckin’ ruckus. Bring da motherfuckin’ ruckus. Bring da mother, bring da motherfuckin’ ruckus. Bring da motherfuckin’ ruckus, whoo yeah!"

RZA: "Stop it man or I’m’a have ta hurt ya…"

6.7 out of 10