The Girl on the Train.
This movie is going to remind everyone of Gone Girl. And that’s unfortunate because Gone Girl is an incredible and thrilling movie. This one? Not so much.
Emily Blunt stars as a woman named Rachel, who is a divorcee and alcoholic, struggling to keep it together. She rides the train every day into New York City and passes by her old home, where her ex-husband (Justin Theroux) lives with his new love Anna (Rebecca Ferguson). She also happens to pass by the house of two passionate lovers (Haley Bennett and Luke Evans) and gets to know them well, though never meeting them. One morning, she sees the woman with a new man and she then goes missing that night. What ensues is a murder mystery trying to piece together Blunt’s drunken memories.
We also have Edgar Ramirez as a psychiatrist, Laura Prepon as Blunt’s roommate of sorts, Allison Janney as a detective, and Lisa Kudrow in a role that really will only make sense in context.
Though I can’t say who, the person who ends up becoming the villain/antagonist of the movie delivers a terrifying performance in the film’s climax, but that sort of energy and thrill is absent from the rest of the film.
What doesn’t work?
This movie wants to be Gone Girl desperately but it fails to live up to every expectation in that regard. The story is convoluted and messy, including characters whose only purpose is to act as a red herring and make you think they might be the killer. Even notable actors and actresses are misused in irrelevant roles.
In terms of editing and tone, this movie tries to also illicit thrill but it seems sillier than it should be. I caught myself laughing as a drunk Emily Blunt staggered through each scene. She’s an incredible actress but it didn’t work here and no one told her to reel it in a bit. There are also jarring edits everywhere and flashes and jumps that try to make you feel suspense but it feels very amateur.
It’s a shame though because the cast is great. Rebecca Ferguson stole the show in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Haley Bennett delivered a much better performance in Magnificent 7. Here though, it all falls flat. It’s even boring at parts, making the movie drag when it should flow.
I’m sure The Girl on the Train is a great book. As a movie though, it doesn’t work. The talent is great but their performances are nothing special. Blunt even delivers some moments that are laughable, not the Oscar-worthy performance she likely had in mind. The suspense is forced, the plot overly convoluted, and the technical aspects messy and amateur. I’m even hesitant to say it’s entertaining, as I found myself bored and predicted the climax way before it was actually revealed.