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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Derailed
Derailed
Artisan // R // October 14, 2002
List Price: $19.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Earl Cressey | posted November 25, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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Derailed is Jean-Claude Van Damme's latest film, having arrived direct-to-video in October. Directed by Bob Misiorowski, the film stars Van Damme (Kristoff), Tomas Arana (Mason Cole), Laura Elena Harring (Galina), and Van Damme's son, Kristopher (Ethan).

After stealing a dangerous biological weapon, Galina, a high-tech thief, desperately needs to escape Eastern Europe. To this end, Agent Kristoff is assigned to assist her extraction via train. However, terrorists soon occupy the train and compromise the biological agent, infecting everyone on board. With time running out, Kristoff must stop the terrorists and retrieve the chemical so an antidote can be made.

To say that Van Damme's cinematic track record has been spotty of late is an understatement. Before last year's The Replicant, Van Damme starred in little that sparked my interest since 1996's Maximum Risk and The Quest. While I went into Derailed with low expectations, the film still managed to disappoint. Van Damme does supply some decent action scenes, but they do little to save the film from a clichéd plot, jerky editing, and some really bad special effects. The end result is a movie that seems like a carbon copy of other films in the genre. Even with what appears to be a relatively short running time of 90 minutes, Derailed is one train ride that I wanted to exit a few stops earlier.

Video:
Derailed is presented in 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen and 1.33:1 full screen, both on the same side of the disc. The transfer looks mediocre throughout, with a fair amount of print flaws visible throughout, such as specks and smaller marks, and quite a bit of grain, especially in the darker scenes. Colors are well saturated and vibrant for the daytime and well-lit scenes, though are otherwise muted and drab in appearance. Blacks never approach being deep and are usually much too light.

Audio:
Derailed is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and Dolby 2.0 Surround. The 5.1 track manages to impress occasionally, especially during some of the more intense action scenes, though never approaches the 'oomph' one would expect in a film of this type. Dialogue is crisp, clean, and easy to understand throughout, however. Optional subtitles are available in Spanish.

Extras:
The main extra on the disc is a featurette titled, Derailed: A Look Behind the Scenes. Running a bit over ten minutes in length, it features interviews with the principals, as well as tons of clips from the film. The participants discuss the film's sets, the fighting, and how they accomplished some of the action sequences.

Also included is the film's trailer.

Summary:
While certainly not his finest hour, diehard fans of Van Damme might find Derailed entertaining enough to merit a rental, though since both the audiovisual presentation and the extras could've used some more work, a blind purchase is not recommended.

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