In Bruges: Movie Review
Cast: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jordan Prentice
Director: Martin McDonagh
Ah, the trip abroad.
Always a time for people to experience the culture of another city, sample the joie de vivre of the residents and rue the fact they even left home in the first place.
In Bruges is the tale of two hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson).
The pair are despatched to Bruges after a hit goes slightly wrong and their employer Harry (Ralph Fiennes) decides they need to lay low for a while.
So, on an enforced break, the duo await a call from Harry about what to do next.
But their time in Bruges becomes an escalatingly surreal experience for both - Ray stumbles upon the filming of a European art film which stars a dwarf (Jordan Prentice) and falls for one of the local girls; Ken, on the other hand, just wants to take in the culture and the scenery.
Their impromptu vacation is thrown into turmoil when the call from Harry finally comes and a chain of events is set in place which can only end in violence...
In Bruges is a curio - at times, it's an Odd Couple film set in Belgium with both Farrell and Gleeson starring in the character piece about two hitmen; by turns, it's dark, funny and witty - through flashbacks, we learn the pair have only just started working together.
It appears their time in the city changes their perspective on life, with both Ray and Ken becoming more concerned they've made the wrong career choice.
The real weak link in the film is Ralph Fiennes as Harry - his (I'm assuming) East End gangster accent is nothing short of yet another linguistic crime against humanity (almost on a par with Dick van Dyke in Mary Poppins) and his so called menacing front stems simply from sneering and smashing things.
Director and writer Martin McDonagh does a reasonable job and pulls out some pretty solid performances from his actors; it's probably the first time I've ever enjoyed a role Farrell portrayed on the big screen - he has some very funny moments and carries most of the black humour; Gleeson is as dependable as ever as the avuncular Ken.
Ultimately though, In Bruges just shoots off the target - which
is a real shame - but hey, don't enforced holidays normally