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Derailed Reviews

The title sums up the state of one-time action star Jean-Claude Van Damme's career, and this railway thriller jumps its own tracks with repetitive chase scenes and gratuitous nastiness. Family man Jacques Kristoff (Jean-Claude Van Damme) keeps his secret service job secret from his wife Madeline, (Susan Gibney), daughter Bailey (Jessica Bowman) and son Ethan (Kristopher Van Varenberg), constantly making excuses for his absences. Rather than enjoying quality time at home, Jacques treks to Slovakia to guarantee safe passage to Germany for Galina Konstantin (Elena Laura Harring), though he doesn't know the extent of her importance to his superiors. As a part of a thieving faction, Galina lifted a bio-toxin called SP 43 from a lab vault then doublecrossed her confederates in favor of negotiating with Jacques' governmental agency. Complicating matters, Jacques loved ones book passage on his train so they can surprise him, but when Madeline spots the groovy Galina, she assumes Jacques has been unfaithful. A marital squabble is, however, the least of Jacques's troubles. Galina's angry ex-boyfriend, Mason Cole (Tomas Arana), takes over the train and starts killing hostages. Quick-witted Galina slips away through the train's air vents, and when Mason later corners her she accidentally knocks over a vial containing a lethal strain of smallpox. While trying to corral Galina, Jacques must contend simultaneously with Mason's mercenaries and a trainload of dying passengers. Can Jacques force the locomotive past Mason's rendezvous point and reroute it to a makeshift healthcare facility? Van Damme still has an acrobat's grace, but his always limited acting abilities are stuck in an inexpressive rut. Moreover, the script's domestic issues seem forced and the "crisis in the hot zone" plot is old hat.