Tuesday, October 27, 2020
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Starring: Clive Owen and Jennifer Aniston
Director: Mikael Hafstrom
Rated: MA15+

For about 20 minutes in Derailed, one can’t help thinking that we seen this all before – nice family, tensions, husband with a roving eye, the beginning of an affair.

From that moment on, the screenplay twists and turns in an entertainingly tantalising way.

That means it is not fair to say too much more about the plot – a multiplex thriller that achieves what it sets out to do.

Derailed has interesting credentials. While the setting is Chicago, much of the film was made in a London studio.

Clive Owen has a role that suits him. He is often taciturn and unsmiling in his films and while, on the whole he is like that here, he has many good reasons for not smiling.

The object of his wayward affection and behaviour is Jennifer Aniston acting against her Friends type – and quite credibly in view of plot developments.

French star Vincent Cassell is frighteningly persuasive as a thug on the loose in Chicago, mostly brutal and repellent but able to turn on the charm when it suits him.

The screenplay, from a novel by James Siegel, has been written by Australian Stuart Beattie who impressed in 2004 with his writing of Collateral.

If you are looking for a thriller with twists and with moral dilemmas about a man who makes a terrible mistake with consequences for his family and friends that make him desperate, try this. What would we do?

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