Friday, October 7, 2016
Review: The Girl On The Train (2016)
The Girl On The Train follows the story of a lonely alcoholic woman named Rachel (Emily Blunt) who constantly pines over a seemingly perfect couple that she observes when on a train commute to and from the city. But when the woman in that couple goes missing, she decides to uncover the mystery herself which even has her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) and his wife involved.
This film has already gotten comparisons to Gone Girl which isn't too surprising given how they are both female-centered mysteries with the word "Girl" on the title and this one is being released around the same weekend as Gone Girl was. However, what really hinders this picture is the fact that it tries so hard to be Gone Girl.
With its usage of expositional narrating, heavy titillation, and incorporation of flashback sequences, it feels like it keeps trying to replicate Gone Girl. But I think the film could've fared better if it had its own identity.
Next, I'll get the film's biggest positive out of the way: Emily Blunt's performance. The role of Rachel is a strong emotional showcase and Blunt really nails it. Even if Rachel isn't the most wholesome of characters with how she lies, harasses her ex-husband, and struggles to get off the sauce, Blunt not once begs for her forgiveness. The only flaw to her performance is that she has a poor film surrounding her.
Not only does it feel like a Gone Girl rip-off, but almost all the other actors are wasted. Haley Bennett does manage to shine through as the missing girl. But the male actors, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, and Edgar Ramirez, do next to nothing. All three are not helped by the fact that their characters are either walking sex objects and/or abusive or domineering husbands. Even Rebecca Ferguson, who plays Rachel's ex-husband's wife and I loved in last year's Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, does NOTHING. Almost every actor's talent is more wasted than Rachel gets.
Overall, The Girl On The Train falls off the rail but thankfully, there is still a light at the end of the tunnel thanks to Emily Blunt's performance. No matter how hard it tries to be Gone Girl, Gone Girl this movie is not.
Grade: A (Blunt's performance)/D (Rest of the movie)