Written by: Erin Cressida Wilson (screenplay), Paula Hawkins (novel)
Directed by: Tate Taylor
Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux
My rating is simple, Watch It, It Depends, Skip it. Read my previous movie reviews!
Rachel, still recovering from a divorce, becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation, the neighbor of her ex-husband and his new wife.
While Emily Blunt does a great job in the role, the story falls rather quickly. It set's up her character as potentially crazy then provides a silly explanation as a lackluster conclusion that makes very little sense if you think about it at all.
This sets up a great hook and then has no idea what to do with it. It tries to be part Rear Window (1954) and Gone Girl (2014) but just mentioning them in the same sentence gives The Girl on the Train too much credit. Those had something to say while The Girl on the Train babbles incoherently.
This begins with three title cards for three different women, Rachel (Emily Blunt), Megan (Haley Bennett), and Anna (Rebecca Ferguson).
Rachel (Emily Blunt) is a neurotic woman that rides the train and vicariously lives through the couple, Megan and Scott, she sees through the train window that live on the same street she used to. She's poised to become a crazy character or unreliable narrator, though this movie ends up being straight forward at the end despite the twists taken to get there. Rachel is upset when she suspects Megan is cheating on Scott. Her fantasy is broken, but it still doesn't make much sense.
Rachel is also still hung up on her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux). Rachel became an alcoholic when she discovered she was unable to get pregnant and that ended their marriage. It's such an uncreative scenario and just one milestone in the decline that is the bland story telling in this movie.
Rachel wakes up covered in blood and doesn't know what happened. What did she do? I was more curious about why the movie is treating these three women like they're all main characters when Rachel should be the main character. When you write a character so thin I guess you need to prop her up some how.
The timeline is all over the place and there are also dream like scenes that end up being real. The big twist is that Tom is terrible. If you want to know the details, you'll have to suffer through this movie like I did, or read wikipedia. It's a bland twist, but it's also inexplicable. Apparently Tom can turn his crazy off an on like a switch. It's a level of control that stretches my suspension of disbelief.
How did Tom expect to hide his exploits? Is his contingency to just kill everyone? None of it makes sense because it's not a fully developed idea.
The twist isn't as far out of nowhere as Side Effects (2013), but it is completely underwhelming. Emily Blunt does a fantastic job, but it doesn't matter.