Tuesday, October 7, 2014

In Bruges

Two guys go to Bruges. This movie is difficult to review because I can't say a single thing, not one thing about the plot or where it leads, but it is also quite easy to review because it has so many other good things to discuss.

There is no doubt that Colin Farrell just acts the hell out of this movie. He is, all the same movie, tough, touching, romantic and hilarious. He covers a wide range of emotions and does them all so well that I can easily say that he elevated the source material. If you read some of writing about movies, you'll know that I don't put much stock in the ability of actors as per their contribution to the movie as a whole. 90% of the time, an actor just does good enough to get the job done. The rest of the time, the acting is so bad it's distracting, or so good it adds to the script. I would say Colin Farrell's performance here is easily the latter.

I really can't and don't want to say much about the script. Not to say that there are spoilers, necessarily, but more like every action is built upon the action preceding it. You know exactly what a character's motivation is, and what he or she is going to do if x happens. Really bad movies make a habit of having things just happen to the characters, but a good movie builds upon everything to where the next thing that happens was exactly what you knew was going to happen. It sounds boring, because that means that as soon as you realize the core conflict in the film, you know how everything is going to play out. (The film makes excellent use of "Chekhov's Gun", where things introduced throughout the story are called back to later.) However, the plot moves fast enough and smart enough that you never actually get a chance to sit back and think, "Ok, so if he does that, then he does that, and that means...oh."

In all, it is the type of film that we don't have a word for the in the English language yet. A film that doesn't do anything special, doesn't win major awards, doesn't think outside the box in any real sense, and yet was just well made. It plays upon similarly-themed movies (maybe somewhere in the Snatch or Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels type of movie) without acting deviating from the formula too much, but does a damn good job regardless. I can easily say that this is one of the best made, most tightly scripted movies I've ever seen, and prefer it to similar movies in the same vein.

1) Well made? - The perfect combination of good scripting and good acting
2) Contributed?  - Only in the sense that it stands out as a superb example of the same type of irreverent gangster movie we've seen before. That's not to say that the content is derivative, but rather it is elevating
3) Good time? - Laugh out loud, edge of seat, etc. etc.
4) Watch again? - I cannot wait to do so.
5) Worth it?  - For sure.
6) Who should watch this? - Anyone who has ever seen a typical "gangster style" movie and enjoyed it. Anyone who likes to see good acting. Anyone who's into offensive comedy. Actually, the only people that I wouldn't really recommend it to are those who might have a problem with some of the raunchier and more violent elements to the story.

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