MOVIE REVIEW: “In Bruges” stars Colin Farrell (Total Recall , The Lobster), Brendan Gleeson (Edge of Tomorrow, In the Heart of the Sea), Clémence Poésy (Last Love, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List, The Grand Budapest Hotel), Eric Godon (Anna, Legends [TV series]), and Zeljko Ivanek (Argo, X-Men: Apocalypse). It is written and directed by Martin McDonagh (Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri). After completing a job, two hitmen, Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Gleeson), are tasked to hide out in Bruges and await further instructions from their boss. Though it is a boring town, danger ensues for the hitmen when they receive their next assignment.
Perusing through Netflix on a dark Friday night, I stumbled upon a McDonaugh piece. His first film, to be exact: “In Bruges.” It only made sense for me to watch it. I was ruffled by “Seven Psychopaths,” and found “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” to be quite the treat. The director knows how to write witty scripts and get the best out of his ragtag group of actors, and I was excited to dive into this one. “In Bruges” holds what we know and love about McDonaugh as a filmmaker, but sports its rough edges given how small of an endeavor it is. Set in a boring European town, two hitmen hot from a job wait for further instructions from their boss. Things get heated when the boss gives a command that proves too consequential to the hitmen as friends. I thought I saw it all when it came to hitmen concepts. This venture holds some of the usual elements you’d expect, but turns things on its head with its radical scenarios, quippy banter, and intriguing observations on life and the nefarious. It’s British humor, through and through, and whether you’re into that genre of filmmaking determines how you’ll like the picture. For me, it all depends. Typically, I’ve found British comedy to be funny, though you really have to sink your teeth in to get the punch. Not that their humor is thought-provoking, but it can be more dry than American comedy (a lot more dry). McDonaugh sways between the dry and the offensive, never really settling for anything streamlined given how dark a concept (and writing) this story presents. To be honest, I loved the serious moments of “In Bruges” more than the comedic, and I believe that was the intention. This is a human study piece, focusing on how killing someone affects the mental state of an individual, and how everything bleeds over into your decisions and what can happen to you as a result. All of this is submerged in rich history and culture of such a small, unknown town. “In Bruges” is nothing like I’ve ever seen, and I was fascinated by it; so much so that I didn’t wane in my energy to keep watching it by the time I finished at two in the morning (I gotta see movies at an earlier time). The performances are great, the dialogue is engaging (for how much of it is understood, given the thick accents), and the cinematography is solid. It certainly holds a small-budgeted, Indie feel, but it capitalizes. Colin Farrell is spectacular, Brendan Gleason is unforgettable, and Ralph Fiennes is exceptional. The talent alone is enough to keep you in your seats, with the whole look of this film an added bonus. It’s one of those movies that gets better and better as time goes on, and by the end you are left thinking (mostly thoughts of “what the heck did I just watch?”). I was on the edge of my seat, and was floored by how brutal things got by the third act. It’s quite a unique experience, one that’s hard to come by. Boiling it down to its issues, “In Bruges” can be difficult to get sucked into at the start. Honestly, the first act is pretty rough, taking a while to jump start until we get into the nitty gritty. Really, it’s when the boss gives the command that things go off the tracks and get really good. Some of the humor was missed due to the accents and dryness, but that’s all to be taken into account of how this is really a foreign film. Other problems would mainly be nitpicks (like how Farrell’s Ray ended up getting sent back to Bruges). Overall, I enjoyed watching “In Bruges.” It’s a fresh concept that holds great performances and a story that snowballs into something grand. I won’t forget it, and recommend anyone who is looking for a new experience to give it a shot. FINAL SCORE: 89%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: