Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movie review: In Bruges

On the plus side, last night Mr. Mouse stayed awake for the whole 107 minutes of In Bruges, despite his stated preference for 90 minute movies.  On the minus side, this morning he announced: "The more I think about that movie, the less I like it."  I still liked it twelve hours on, but it wasn't what I expected.

In the wake of a badly botched hit, two Irish hitmen (Colin Farrell as "Ray" and Brendan Gleeson as "Ken") are sent by their boss Harry (a lunatic Ralph Fiennes) to hide out in Bruges, Belgium for a while.  Ken is instantly enamored of the beautiful, old town, dragging a reluctant and twitchy Ray all over the place to see the sights.  Ray is not impressed.  He thinks Bruges is a "shithole," and refuses to be charmed by its ancient and picturesque stone buildings, canals and bridges.  He does like the pretty Belgian girl he meets in the town square, however, and she helps take his mind off the fact that he's stranded in a town he hates.  For a little while, anyway.  It was his error that screwed up the hit and it weighs heavily on him.  Things get complicated when Harry comes to town and the last twenty minutes or so of the movie are full of gunshots, spurting blood and dead bodies.

The blurb on the DVD mailer called In Bruges an "action-comedy."   The Mouses take issue with that descriptor since (1) much of the film is quite slowly paced, full of dialogue and loving shots of the gorgeous architecture of Bruges and (2) whilst some of the dialogue (when you can understand it: Farrell gets to use his real Irish accent here and speaks really quickly) is quite funny, the movie itself is NOT, and ends rather grimly in fact.  It's a very pretty film, a postcard to Bruges, and Farrell is very good in his role.  But when someone says "action-comedy" I think Hot Fuzz or a Lethal Weapon, and In Bruges is not one of those.

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