Monday, January 05, 2009

Movie Mini Review: In Bruges

Title: In Bruges

Cast: Colin Farrell, Ralph Fiennes, Brendan Gleeson, Jordan Prentice

Plot summary:
Novice hit man Ray (Ferrell) and his mentor Ken (Gleeson) flee to Bruges after a botched job in London to await instructions from the mob boss, Harry Waters (Fiennes). At first frustrated by the slow pace of the Belgian backwater, Ray eventually falls in love and finds himself in a fight for his life.

My thoughts:
The DVD box was marked with words like "A Hilarious Twisted Pleasure!" and "Undeniably Fun and Refreshingly Un-P.C.!" It described the film as an "edgy, action-packed comedy..."

From what I could remember of the theatrical trailer, this seemed like a good choice for a fun night in. We popped the disc in the player, grabbed the popcorn and waited for the hilarity.

But the hilarity never came. And that's my biggest problem with In Bruges. It was billed as a dark comedy, but only a very sad, humorless person would actually consider this a comedy.

The so-called comedy in this film seems to be built the shaky assumptions that 1) nobody knows where Bruges is 2) all Americans are fat and rude 3) American dwarfs are racists and 4) murder and suicide are side-splittingly witty.

There were a few moments, a few snippets of dialogue that made me crack a smile, perhaps even chuckle out loud a little. I'd like to tell you about them, but I can't remember what they were.

There was a lot of potential for actual hilarity, the scene where a fat family of Americans were considering climbing the top of a bell tower, for example. Unfortunately it missed the mark by turning into a stream of unfunny insults. The large actors couldn't even get the American accent right (if you're portraying a Midwestern American, you should lose the Brummy accent when you curse).

Anyway, all this isn't to say that it was a bad movie. The story line is pretty solid despite a few contrived plot devices. It tends to wander off a little bit in the second act, and the bloody ending is anything but hilarious.

The acting is solid, as it the directing. The photography and locations are really the strong points as far as I'm concerned.

I actually might have liked, not loved, this movie if it weren't for the poor marketing and high expectations I had before we watched it.

My final rating: If you're prepared to hate it, you might like it.

Favorite quote:
"Jeez he swears a lot, doesn't he?"

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  1. everyone knows that dwarfs are racist.especially fat overgrown dwarfs who sometimes can grow up to 6 feet tall

  2. m.v., are you calling me racist?

  3. i knew you were one of them dwarfs

  4. I don't follow pop-culture that closely, but I have to say this Colin Farrell is the kind of guy I'd describe as an "industry plant." By this I mean he consistently stars in movies that fail both artistically and economically, yet always gets another movie role. Why? What movie was he in that was an actual hit? But he's a "plant," by which I mean he's obviously got the right agent or 2nd cousin--or probably both (i.e. Kate Hudson amongst others). Collin Farrel? What role (besides a junkie) could he ever possibly play that you would actually believe? Oh I know--drunk Irishman!


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