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Mar 5, 2008

Fletch's Film Review: In Bruges

Two London-based hitmen head out to do a job. Something goes awry. Their penance? Spend two weeks in Bruges (Belgium), lay low, and await further instruction. Sounds simple enough, right?

Not so fast. As it turns out, Ray (Colin Farrell) is not too fond of quaint, sleepy towns lacking in an adequate nightlife (or day life, one could suppose). So there's one problem. Meanwhile, his partner Ken (Brendan Gleeson) is quite taken with the Belgian hamlet famous for its historic, medieval city center, complete with an impressive bell tower and the Church of the Holy Blood, which is said to have a vial of blood from none other than Jesus himself. And while their tastes for tourist activities may differ, that pales in comparison to the wants and needs of their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes), who just insists that the two not make a peep and sit tight until he calls, and should they miss his call...well, that's a whole other story. Let's just say Harry's a bit of an "'orrible c*nt," to use their slang. Matters are muddied even further by the details of the hit gone wrong back in London, which has left Ray somewhat of a mess, with Ken left to clean up after him.

Did I mention this is a comedy?

In truth, the film somewhat defies the comedy label, bouncing around from the buddy comedy stylings of something like Hot Fuzz (with which it shares a similar plot line of high crime in a sleepy town) to drama to action; more than anything, the mood reminded me of Grosse Pointe Blank, with hit men doubting their chosen profession while having no problems engaging in blunt honesty when confronted with said profession - just don't expect a hip 80s alt soundtrack.

Though the somewhat schizophrenic mood may throw you off kilter a bit, the acting won't, led by a strong Farrell (playing vulnerable in consecutive roles now after Cassandra's Dream; part of me thinks he is a much more comfortable and capable actor when he's allowed he speak with his native accent) and Fiennes, who gets to ham it up a bit as an ice-cold villain who's still every bit as refined as the Queen (and whose home life could be mistaken for any old schlub). In addition, the writing delivers the audience diversions after twists after diversions that all tidily tie up into the winning finale, a must have for any genre pic these days it seems.

Fletch's Film Rating:

"Darn tootin!"

10 people have chosen wisely: on "Fletch's Film Review: In Bruges"

Rick Ryan said...

Your observation about Farrell's accent is dead on. I don't think he'll ever reach his full potential until he fully accepts himself as an Irish actor. I'm glad you liked this one. I look forward to seeing it - on DVD, of course.

Nick said...

I really wanted to see this but... you'll never guess... it didn't come here!


Mrs. Thuro said...

I want to see this very badly and I hope and pray it find it's way into one my local theaters eventually.

Pat said...

I'm hoping to see this over the coming weekend. I think it sounds great!

Daniel G. said...

I picked up on the same thing you and Rick did. Farrell has to stop with the Phone Booth, SWAT, and Miami Vice-type roles. His American accent is as bad as Nicole Kidman's. When he can be himself his range increases dramatically.

Fletch said...

I don't even necessarily think he has a bad accent - I think it is or was just something about his hype and the roles he choose a few years ago as opposed to recently. He had a nice role in A Home at the End of the World a few years ago, but mostly, his American roles have been just plain bad, and I think something about his speaking accent free enhances his acting. Time will tell more, I suppose.

Matt said...

In Bruges is now on my to-watch eventually list. I haven't seen too many recent Colin Farrell roles but I think I agree with you about him being better actor now. It may also just be that he's no longer seen so much as a "golden boy" star so he can choose roles that better suit him, and also feature his real accent.

DCMovieGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
DCMovieGirl said...

I'm sorry dude, but if you can't even pull off a convincing cry, your acting ain't all that.

Ferrell was fine and had decent comic-timing, but he was far from great.

Brendan Glesson kicks ass no matter what, though.

Fletch said...

Who said Ferrell was great?

And yes, Gleeson always kicks ass, even as a 3-D cartoon in Beowulf.