What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie is premised on an adulterous affair. It includes frequent images of bloody violence: a shooting, several stabbings, fist fights, and the start of a rape. Characters smoke and drink, curse frequently ("f--k" in various forms, "s--t," slang for genitals). Characters lie to each other incessantly, and the hero's triumph is based in a lie that he agrees to keep secret with the detective. References are made to a daughter's illness, with images as well of her injections and a difficult-breathing episode.
What's the story?
Charles (Clive Owen) and his wife Deanna (Melissa George) share a dispassionate partnership looking after their diabetic, occasionally near-death daughter Amy (Addison Timlin). Charles' derailment begins on the commuter train he takes to work, where he meets Lucinda (Jennifer Aniston). Though he knows better, Charles sets up a lunch, they lie to their spouses, and get in a cab. When they meet at a seedy hotel, a thug named LaRoche (Vincent Cassel) busts in their room with a gun, goes through their wallets, beats Chuck, and looks about to rape Lucinda as Charles goes unconscious. Afterwards, Lucinda makes Charles promise not to tell the cops or his wife. He agrees, feeling guilty about the rape. Within hours, LaRoche calls with a blackmail demand. When La Roche asks for still more money, Charles asks ex-con Winston (RZA) to help.
Is it any good?
DERAILED is an unimaginative, ridiculously plotted thriller that begins with a long setup, then devolves even more feebly into silly-plotting. A scheme gone wrong leads to the introduction of a couple of other black guys, dogged and painfully named Detective Church (Giancarlo Esposito), who also happens to be related to Winston, and LaRoche's second, Dexter (Xzibit).
Charles finds his inner thug after he's made what appears to be a series of profoundly wrong decisions. His sudden ingenuity and action heroics hardly make up for the rest of his bad judgment, or the film's ancient moralizing (i.e., adultery is bad).
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the persistent costs of cheating, the ugliness of lying and blackmailing. How do the villains embody threats to the suburban ideal? How does the commuter train/the city represent a site of temptation?