Directed by: Bob Misiorowski
Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Laura Harring and Tomas Arana
Jacques Kristoff (Van Damme) is a family man with a wife, a son and a
daughter. He is given a mission by his superiors to track down a
mysterious woman named Galina Konstantin (Harring). As it turns out,
Galina is hiding a deadly bio-weapon - a mutated form of smallpox
enhanced with other, newer pathogens. This is discovered while Jacques
is escorting Galina on a train from Bratislava to Munich. Things really
get complicated when a gang of terrorists headed by Mason Cole (Arana)
hijack the train and attempt to steal the smallpox. In the ensuing
confusion, a vial is broken and it goes into the ventilation system of
the train, making a lot of people sick. Not the least of which is
Jacques’ family, who surprised him by showing up on the train. Can
Jacques save his family, stop the bio-terror from spreading, combat the
terrorists, convince his wife he’s not cheating on her with Galina, and
save the train from getting DERAILED?
Unfortunately, Derailed is
stupid, junky, and is just plain filler in the career of Van Damme.
Sadly, despite the presence of Van Damme, this movie isn’t really much
different from any other Nu-Image or Millennium production. It has
loathsome CGI, including CGI sparks, and is edited from probably
countless other sources (which would explain why certain things may seem
familiar if you‘ve seen Direct Contact). Speaking of editing, there are
a lot of dumb, unnecessary editing effects that call attention to the
cruddiness of this production, instead of covering it up, which we
assume was the original intention.
Basically this movie is a
ripoff/mishmash of movies such as Die Hard (1988), Speed (1994), The Taking of Pelham
123 (1974), and even Strategic Command (1997). But the most obvious “influence” is
surely Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995). Clearly messing with
perfection, the filmmakers must have watched that and said, “the only
thing that would make this better is if Van Damme was in it and not
Seagal!” And while Derailed doesn’t add much new to the formula, it does
have a cool scene where Van Damme rides a motorbike on top of the
speeding train. But even this movie highlight didn’t live up to its
Stunt coordinator Mike Kirton, who also worked with
Van Damme on The Quest (1996), probably wished he was back working on Heat (1986) and
Malone (1987) with Burt Reynolds in the good old days.
Also featuring a
guy who looks exactly like Joe Don Baker as the stereotypical Texan,
and the baddies in red berets and fatigues that are more common in
Nu-Image movies than Star Wars stormtroopers, we can’t forget the main
title rap song, which is catchy and it seems like the uncredited rappers
must have watched the movie to formulate their lyrics. I wonder if they
found it challenging to fulfill their
mandate to write a rap about a movie that has more obvious miniatures
than most kids’ train sets.
Derailed is not a standout moment in the storied Van Damme career.
Comeuppance Review by: Brett and Ty