The Girl on the Train

2 out of 5 stars

I suspect that even those who complained when Emily Blunt was cast in this popular novel adaption would recognize that she is by far the best thing in this very disposable airport thriller-esque film that comes across as a C-grade Gone Girl. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the two (either the books, of which I have only read Gone Girl; or the films, which I have seen both) as other than the domestic setting and the themes of marital duplicity and infidelity, there is actually a big chasm between the two, so let’s just judge this on its own merits. Sadly, Tate Taylor’s direction is uninspired and heavy-handed. At times reminding me of Crimewatch reenactments, it fails to lift the material from its soapy roots to something classier and more nuanced. Even if the main characters are not meant to be sympathetic, it doesn’t help that there’s more irritation than tension as they make one bad decision after a stupid one in the film. A gamed but wasted cast tries their hardest to sell this but to no avail. The twist/mystery behind the who and the why can be figured out pretty easily but the problem here is that the movie reveals it in such as a way as to make the ending in Fatal Attraction looks subtle and understating by comparison, making this one disappointing ride with a drunken hysterical woman that I couldn’t wait to get off.

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