THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN:
FIFTY SHADES OF GREY WITH AN ACTUAL PLOT, AND MIXED WITH GONE GIRL!
By Nico Beland
Movie Review: *** out of 4
Emily Blunt is The Girl on the Train
Ever seen Fifty Shades of Grey, what about Gone Girl, have you ever imagined what you’d get if you put the two together? Pretty much, you end up with The Girl on the Train, the latest exploitation mystery drama to follow in those films’ footsteps.
Directed by Tate Taylor (Pretty Ugly People, The Help, Get On Up), starring Golden Globe winner, Emily Blunt (Looper, Edge of Tomorrow, Sicario), and based on the novel of the same name by Paula Hawkins. The trailers certainly caught my attention when I saw them in the theater, plus I’m a huge fan of Emily Blunt, I always think she’s fantastic in every movie she’s in, so I was open to see it.
How does it hold up you may ask? It pretty much delivers exactly what the trailer advertises, a sex exploitation melodrama and a mystery thriller rolled into one. But unlike Fifty Shades of Grey, there’s actual thought put into the story and characters, but I digress.
It’s a decent film, not one of Emily Blunt’s strongest films, but she delivers a refreshingly different kind of performance, especially after her badass performances from Edge of Tomorrow and Sicario. The film does drag in the beginning to get the story going, but once the mystery begins it had me completely hooked, and I had no idea where the movie was going.
Not sure how it holds up compared to the book but as a regular movie-goer, I enjoyed the film a lot. I love movies that keep me guessing all throughout the film, despite a slow beginning the mystery and suspense kept me interested.
The movie follows a young woman named Rachel Watson (Blunt) who is a troubling alcoholic and divorced her husband, Tom (Justin Theroux-American Psycho, Zoolander, Miami Vice) after she caught him cheating on her. She rides the train to work every day and passes by a house with a perfect couple, who she describes as “The embodiment of true love”.
Every morning Rachel fantasizes about the relationship between her neighbors, Scott (Luke Evans-Clash of the Titans, The Hobbit trilogy, Fast & Furious 6) and Megan Hipwell (Haley Bennett-The Equalizer, Hardcore Henry, The Magnificent Seven) during her commute. However, one day her fantasies change when she notices something from the train window, Megan is kissing another man, and the next day she had gone missing, presumed dead.
Rachel has constant encounters with her ex-husband, his new wife, Anna Watson (Rebecca Ferguson-Hercules, Mission: Impossible: Rogue Nation, Florence Foster Jenkins), Megan’s husband, a doctor named Dr. Kamal Abdic (Édgar Ramírez (Carlos, Zero Dark Thirty, Joy) who may or may not be Megan’s secret lover, and police Detective Sgt. Riley (Allison Janney-10 Things I Hate About You, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children) while trying to figure out, why did Megan go missing in the first place? As she gets closer and closer to cracking the case, she eventually discovers the shocking truth.
Overall, The Girl on the Train doesn’t do much different with this type of genre, we’ve seen movies like this before, but what keeps the film afloat are Emily Blunt’s performance and the mystery. It’s a solid attempt to add another movie to the list of Gone Girl style mystery films, despite this movie coming out two years after Gone Girl.
The second and third act of this movie blows the first act out of the water, the beginning I was like “Alright, we got Emily Blunt with a drinking problem, riding the train, and observing a happy looking couple, can we get to the thrills yet?”. But once Megan was caught kissing the other man, that’s when it started to get interesting and it keeps you on your toes and leaves you with a big gasp during the final act, at least that’s what I got out of it.
I would have liked more new twists added in to the story so it could stand taller than other films in the genre. The clichés and set-up are pretty generic, but it’s that final act that grabs you off guard.
I’m glad I saw it, if you want to see Emily Blunt getting drunk off her ass and possibly going insane, this is your movie. Hop on that train and uncover the truth for yourself.