“Girl on the Train” is Rather Mundane

imageTate Taylor’s The Girl on the Train (C-) knocks off the time-hopping narrative structure of Memento – with alcoholism and blackouts replacing the novelty of constant short term memory loss. And although this new novel-to-screen adaptation has the occasional promise of another recent adult thriller done well, The Gift, it’s more akin to the ham-fisted Gone Girl with greater pulp than pulse. As the title character, Emily Blunt channels a wild-eyed love child of Fiona Apple and Gollum (not her best work!), and she’s still the most memorable of the female characters (the other primary actresses also underserved by this script are Haley Bennett and Rebecca Ferguson). Blunt’s character starts off as simply a voyeur to the adulterous follies in a commuter train adjacent neighborhood until she asserts herself as a locomotive-riding Nancy Drew. It’s a long slog through some predictable twists and turns ahead. The actors – Justin Theroux, Édgar Ramírez and Luke Evans – are also all bluster. Taylor has very few cinematic tricks up his sleeve. He’s like the substitute teacher of suspense directors. Rent the greatest hits of Hitchcock, De Palma or Fincher for something more edge of your seat.

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