Movie Review: The Girl on the Train

Details: Released in 2016. Runs under two hours long. Stars Emily Blunt.

A while back, I went to a friend’s house and had the chance to watch Gone Girl. I sat for about twenty minutes and decided that this movie was pretty bad. It was that dialogue. It sounded like something written by a bored, disconnected housewife with not real concept of how people actually spoke. It watched like the fantasy of a mother of four, aspiring to rise to the level of romance of crime novels that she read in her spare time. It was cringe worthy.

So I gave up and never watched it again. Fast forward a year or so and now another movie in the same vein has been released. I did some research and found that this movie is not a sequel nor based on any books written by the author who wrote the book that Gone Girl was based on. However, this is clearly a movie seeking to replicate the success that Gone Girl achieved. With an open mind, I decided to give it a watch and that no matter how much I cringed from the corny dialogue and plot points, I would give the film a chance and watch it to the end with an open mind.

The premise is this: Emily Blunt plays a drunk, emotionally damaged divorcee who, during one of her drunken blackouts, may have witnessed or even caused the murder of someone else. She doesn’t know and spends the rest of the film sussing through her memories and trying to figure it out while getting her alcoholic life back on track.

After sitting through the film, I can honestly say that it was all right. This film is essentially the spiritual sequel to Gone Girl. In other words, it features a strong, female lead with a dark world view. There are elements of murder, mystery, and romantic drama. Like Gone Girl, the dialogue sounds like it was written by a bored, middle aged house wife for other bored, middle aged housewives. It’s clear to me as I was watching it that I am clearly not the demographic that this was aimed at. However, I did still derived some entertainment from it.

I think the main problem I have with films of this genre, along with other dramas or even horror movies, is that I just don’t identify or relate to the characters, nor can I agree with their actions. One of the reasons I dislike horror movies is because the characters keep doing stupid things I would not do. Oh, a murderer is chasing you in the dark? Then we should split up! Dark alleyway ahead? Let’s go explore it! There must certainly be no monsters in there! I find this kind of decision making just stupid and that’s how I felt about the decisions the characters made in this film. They just kept doing stupid stuff that made their situations worse. For instance, in the opening sequence Emily Blunt sits in a certain place on a train where she can watch couples and drives her crazy since she’s a divorcee. At the end of the movie, she moves forward by sitting on the other side of the train so she can avoid seeing those couples. Why couldn’t you just do that earlier and avoided all the crazy you later unleashed you dumb woman!?!?! Just change your seat!!!

I guess that’s why I like movies that take place in different worlds or unrealistic settings. Watching idiots make such bad decisions over and over again is just frustrating. I mean, there are enough idiots like that in real life, I don’t get any enjoyment from paying and watching that kind of stupidity on a big screen.

The one thing I did like from this movie is that, like Gone Girl, the cast is filled with a great number of familiar, B-list actors. It’s always fun trying to identify  where you’ve seen certain actors before and seeing them in this kind of campy, murder mystery. Off the top of my head, I saw Jennifer Aniston’s husband, an assassin from an old Bourne identity movie, that guy from Dracula, and the female lead in one of the Mission Impossible films. It’s really fun picking them out. Emily Blunt is probably the only A-list actor here and is, accordingly, the lead in the film. Additionally, all the actors put up fine performances with Emily Blunt looking more disheveled and crazy than I’ve ever seen her.

Score: 6/10 An okay film. Not my cup of tea, but I can see why a lot of people would like this kind of movie.

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