Paul Hawkins' novel The Girl on the Train was hot for a split second, bolting to number one on The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2015. It has sold over 11-million copies worldwide. Dreamworks bought the film rights before the book was published and hired tate Taylor ("The Help" and "Get On Up") to helm the production with Emily Blunt in the lead. So far, so good!


But somewhere in the process - between best selling novel to film release - the suspense and thrills that were supposed to keep me spellbound...vanished. It couldn't possibly read this way. Does Erin Wilson's script change the story so much to make it dull? Or was this just a bad idea.


This is one of those films that is so predictable that I was truly hoping Godzilla would stomp through at the end just to be different. That didn't happen.

Blunt plays Rachel, a divorced alcoholic who is fixated on her ex-husband Tom (Justin Theroux), his new wife Anna (Rebecca Ferguson) and their child. She is constantly texting him, or so it seems. It doesn't matter, because she has fallen so far into the bottle that she frequently blacks out without recollection what she has done.


Every morning she rides the commuter train into the Manhattan and pass her old digs. But she also passes the home of a former neighbor and watches the woman (Haley Bennett from "Magnificent Seven") enjoying her seemingly happy home. Until one day that she notices another man at this woman's house seemingly embracing her. Could this be an affair? Oh my.

There is more drinking, the woman goes missing, accusations flying, even more drinking, stalking, drinking, detectives, even more accusations and speculations, pregnancy, babies, psychiatrists and... still no Godzilla to end the boredom.


We know that Rachel's drinking was a reaction to her inability to have children and Tom's disappointment in her. But we actually learn very little about Megan and Scott - the neighbors. We learn nothing about the relationship between Rachel and Tom aside from them not having any babies.


It would have even been nice to know some dirt on the lead detective, played by Allison Janney. I found myself rewriting the script as the film progressed hoping that I hadn't predicted the who-done-it within the first 45 minutes of the film.


Not only did I not care about any of the characters, but there was never a thrill...never any suspense. I used to love th old Perry Mason stories when, during the closing trial, a person from the galley would jump up and confess everything though that person was only in the film for three seconds. I was kind of hoping that person would be Lisa Kudrow when she appeared briefly, but that would have been too good.


I can only assume that the book is drastically different from the film and that 11-million readers did not buy a book that would leave them as underwhelmed as the film does.


"The Girl on the Train" is a predictable non-thriller, with flat characters about whom you could care less. They should all get it in the end, but they don't and you leave unfulfilled.   -- GEOFF BURTON