Almost So BAd It's Good
Hey guys! I'm back with another awesome flash review. Today I'm talking about The Girl on the Train, which, spoiler, is not a great film. Did you see Gone Girl? If you did, you saw The Girl on the Train. I know a lot of people have been saying that to this point, but they are more than justified. Even the way this film is shot feels like Gone Girl, and when you have a story that's already this similar as a filmmaker you should be doing everything you can to get out of the shadow of Gone Girl. But hey, monetary decisions over creativity, right? Despite lukewarm reviews, this film has grossed nearly $80 million at the box office, and it's still in theaters. While it likely won't reach Gone Girl's $160 million, it will probably reach the $100 million threshold, despite its poor critical reception.
First off, don't see this film. It's a good date night film to stream next year, but there are far better films in theaters right now than this, including Magnificent Seven and The Birth of a Nation. The story is riddled with plot holes, and the final whodonit can be seen from miles away. It's a 112 minute film, but I solved the mystery about 25 minutes in, and when you can solve the mystery that early, there's a lot of sitting around and waiting for things to happen. However, while I was waiting for these things to happen, I did notice that Emily Blunt is, yet again, really good in this. She does everything she can to carry this film on her own, because Haley Bennett is not in this film nearly enough to be truly memorable, and all the guys are nothing more than hunks to look at. Sadly, I thought Rebecca Ferguson, who exploded onto the scene with 2015's excellent MI: Ghost Protocol, was far outmatched by her female co-stars, but to be fair she really wasn't given much to work with from the writing department. Oh well. At least the Mission: Impossible crew was smart enough to see they had a great star on their hands and are bringing her back for the next film. You know what? I want to talk about Emily Blunt some more now.
The star of this show is Emily Blunt. She's asked to do a fair amount of acting, and once again she kills it. She has taken on some extremely strenuous roles between this and Sicario, and even the physically demanding role that was 2014's Edge of Tomorrow, and to me this role has cemented her place as one of Hollywood's best female stars. While this role won't net her an Oscar or anything, (heck it may not even find itself in my 3rd Annual Awesome Actors Awards list) but it is a great performance in a high-grossing film, which is what Hollywood is looking for right now. 2018's Marry Poppins Returns cannot come soon enough. (Check out this IMDB page and tell me you are not ridiculously excited for this film)
Unfortunately, though, not even Emily Blunt is enough to save this train wreck. (See what I did there? I'll be here all night) The biggest problem with this "thriller" is that it's simply not thrilling. When I go into a film like this, I try not to solve the mystery before it's solved. I do like to discover the mystery along with the film. But, this film simply made it's mystery so glaringly obvious that I couldn't help but figure out whodunit. I find it funny that the marketing crew used the caption "Based on the thriller that shocked the world." THERE ISN'T ANYTHING SHOCKING ABOUT THIS FILM. Heck the finale of Gone Girl was infinitely more shocking than this, and the highlight of The Accountant (featuring J.K. Simmons backstory) was also more engaging. Yes Emily Blunt and Haley Bennett are excellent, but you need a heck of a lot more than that to make a movie good. This film's story is extremely lackluster, and there is nothing from any other aspect of movie making that stands out in this film that kept my interest. Sadly, this film is nothing more than a bad swing and a miss.
The Critique: Despite stellar performances from Emily Blunt and Haley Bennett, The Girl on the Train makes no effort to be a forgetful copycat of Gone Girl, and thus falls flat on its face.
The Recommendation: Stream it on date night if you have to watch it. Otherwise, your time is better spent elsewhere.
The Verdict: 3/10 Bad
Well, I must admit I was distracted a bit by IMDB throughout this flash review so this one came in at 35 minutes to write. Here's to a better performance next time, right?