Monday, March 9, 2009

In Bruges

Remember when Michael killed that cop in The Godfather and had to lay low in a small Sicilian town for a while? Well imagine if someone made a whole movie of just that time period and made it much more comedy driven and much much more crass. Interested? That's pretty much the idea behind this flick. I certainly don't mean to diminish it though, as it was nominated for a best screen play Oscar, but the premise is pretty simple. Ken and Ray play two hitmen who botch a job in a bad way and are sent by their boss to a small Belgian town to lay low. Neither wants to be there particularly, but the sour, spoiled, loudmouthed Ray (played very well by Farrell) really, really doesn't want to be there. Ray is the best part of this flick. He's hilarious and is literally squirming in nearly every scene. At one point Ken says, "you're acting like a five-year-old who's had his sweets taken away." He has no filter and seems totally unable to stay out of trouble. The two think they're just there to wait out the storm, but they soon learn that they may be given a job in Bruges as well. Problem is one of them may well be the target. It's a funny premise (sticking two professional killers in a small town) and there are moments (mostly thanks to Farrell) that really are funny. Ralph Fiennes has a small role, but also does a fantastic job and is dang funny. The thing that kept this movie from being really good is that it's scope was too broad and the tone and story just seemed unfocused. Literally, the people I was watching it with kept asking, "is this a comedy, or a drama?" First time feature director Martin McDonagh is trying to do too much. He wants a full romance, a goofy comedy, a reflective psychological piece and an emotional drama to all live in one movie. Other, more seasoned directors might be able to pull this off, but it would be crazy hard for anyone to do and McDonagh should've just kept it a little simpler. In the end all the aspects of the movie were pretty good, but not great and none of it was all that gripping or memorable. It was a good movie and I enjoyed watching it but I'll soon forget it and I'm certainly not running out to buy it. As a bit of trivia, you may want to check this flick out if you're a Harry Potter fan. Three of the four main actors are from the Potter films, including Mad Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), Voldemort (Fiennes) and Fleur Delacour (Clemence Poesy).


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