Genres: Action/Adventure, Art/Foreign, Comedy and Drama
Running Time: 1 hr. 47 min.
Release Date: February 8th, 2008 (limited)
MPAA Rating: R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language and some drug use.
Distributors: Focus Features
Directed by: Martin McDonagh
JJ Rating: B+
Ray (Colin Farrell) makes a mistake. Ken (Brendan Gleeson) takes Ray to Bruges where he enjoys the sites while Ray complains that it’s hell. They await further instructions and when those instructions come things have changed and the instructions are no longer feasible. In Bruges.
This was the film I was supposed to see and I was not disappointed. I have a clear understanding of what films I will like based on the trailer alone. I’m shocked on occasion but not enough for me to believe my intuition of what is and isn’t good to be questionable. This comes into vital play in the next review.
In Bruges is better than a B but not such a great B+, but it is good enough. The characters are reprehensible but were made enchanting by their mannerisms, the lines and then their actions would reinstate how dark they are. But it was not enough to make them detestable. It was good writing, directing and acting that pulled that off.
Collin Farrell was a different character than I’ve seen him. He was unsure of himself and defiantly nervous and full of guilt for what it was he had done. His character tick was touching his face when he was thinking or at a loss. It was a good tick to have. I think this is one of the better acting jobs I’ve seen him in. Brendan Gleeson had his appreciative moments in the movie because his character was in love with the sites. He had great chemistry with Farrell.
The ending was well put together. First Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes have a philosophical conversation that lasts a while and is full of voice control with well placed facial expressions. Then when the action starts Farrell and Fiennes have their moment and the very end was unexpected in a way. That, in itself, made it a very good ending.
The lines were amusing and the over use of the F word was violent and constant, but made more sense than most movies who insist on using it and giving the movie an uncomfortable feel; such as teen movies. In this movie they say it without lingering on it or going oh no I said a naughty, naughty word let me elongate the word to show how wrong it was for me to say it. If you insist on saying the word say it and make it about the story not say it and make it about the word. Along with that there was the Irish insensitivity and Irish political correctness, which is them just being as blunt and brutal as possible. If you are someone that gets easily offended by racial, sexist or weight comments then this is not a movie that you should bother viewing. There are constant offensive statements leaking out of Farrell’s mouth as if he had turrets.
There is one scene that caught me off guard and it has to do with the death of a child. It’s not just the death but how the child dies. He gets shot. You won’t see it coming and even though I’ve just said it you won’t realize when it is until it’s too late. But if that’s something you don’t want to bare witness to then skip this movie. I’ve never seen something like that. It’s something I most likely will never forget and it’s the main fuel for the movie.
In Bruges is insensitively amusing. It shows that even those that kill for a living have morals that seem consistent with most people of this world that kids are not to be touched. It’s just odd to have such a rule when they don’t hold themselves to any seemingly reasonable rules that would bestow kindness and yet they have a soft spot for the children. I don’t think I’ll have this on my shelf but then again I could surprise myself. In Bruges shows hell hath wit but it also is entangled in guilt for the wrongs that even the ‘bad’ guys feel guilty for.