Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Girl on the Train (2016) - Film Review


I know a lot of people have said this, but best thing to compare The Girl on the Train to is 2014’s ‘Gone Girl’ which tackles a lot of the same themes as Girl on the Train, but succeeds far, far better than this mess that seemed like it was made as network TV pilot. Honestly, I have no idea what the $50 million budget went on. It looks like cheap TV which is outrageous. There is nothing visually interesting or even competent about this film. It’s embarrassing. I am really curious to see what the budget went on. The score tries to emulate things like House of Cards, maybe even a little of Trent Reznor’s Gone Girl score too.

 Either way it was completely forgettable, like most of the film. In terms of storytelling, it fails too. The story is messy and somewhat predictable. Aside from one surprising twist at the very end of the extremely long feeling run-time, nothing of interest happens. 

Emily Blunt
The big twist itself is lazy in hindsight, it twists the history of the character to pull the rug from under the audience, but it just feels unnearned and lazy. It might be one of the things that worked better in the book, but in film? No. It hits a lot of the beats you would expect from a film like this. The mystery is an interesting one at its core and I am curious to check out the book. It’s just that none of that translated well in the disorganised and bland script.

The police are also a laughable and incompetent force in the film. None of these police act like real police. They misuse suspects, ignore glaring evidence and can’t put together clues that are directly in front of them. It was a lazy way for our lead to be front and centre. If the police in this are like the real police in the US, then god help them all….

Haley Bennett
If there is a saving grace from The Girl on the Train it is easily Emily Blunt’s performance as the lead Rachel. She plays a broken alcoholic which really shows in her performance early on in the film. She looks worn, broken, down pathetic and beaten. It’s easily this films greatest feature, it’s just a shame that it’s in a film that doesn’t deserve a performance of this caliber at all. The rest of the cast do not fare well at all. Haley Bennett in particular tries so hard to copy the nihlism of Gone Girl’s Amy Dunne that it is kinda pathetic. Luke Evans at least conveys some emotion. Everyone else? Forgettable.

I really wish this was better. I am a huge fan of dark and twisted thrillers (Like Gone Girl), but The Girl on the Train just fails on pretty much every level. When one performance is the only reason to see a film, then your film is not worth watching. This is far from 2016’s Gone Girl. A huge disappointment.

4/10 Dans

The Girl on the Train is out now on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK
Watch the trailer below:

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