Local, Movie Reviews

In Bruges

Posted: March 10, 2008 at 9:55 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Martin McDonagh’s feature debut is an impressive one that weaves dark humor with a bit of action while diving into the psyche of a hit man.
Ray and Ken (Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, respectively) are instructed by their employer Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to lay low in Bruges, Belgium after performing a hit in London while the crime cools down before they are allowed to return. Bruges is a medieval town filled with canals, steeples, and stone buildings and tourists must see if you ever happen to visit Belgium. Ken is in love with the town, seeing the sights and enjoying his days touring the locales while Ray feels as he is in Hell and loathes every moment he has to spend there.
As details unfold about the hit we are allowed to look deeper into the minds and philosophies of these two men and as we learn more and more the plot thickens and the circumstances for these two raises in a hurry.
Ray finds a girl while Ken finds Bruges and the story is about both of them trying to come to terms with what they have done while finding something they never thought they would In Bruges.
I won’t delve into the plot any further, as it has some twists and turns, but the story is top notch and applies a nice spin to the hit man film that you normally don’t get to see. The film is also very brutal at times, so be warned as there are a few bits not for the squeamish.
Farrell is fantastic here and I hope he will be allowed to reach the career he deserves and has had success in hit last couple of films as an indie film player. Farrell is able to carry the humor, irreverence, action, and emotion that come with Ray and he does it with ease, creating one of the more fun characters in a film in this young year.
Brendan Gleeson is also great as usual in a lead role that he is not usually accustomed too. Gleeson is almost always plays a fantastic over the top supporting player in his films, but here he is quiet and subdued and a man coming to grips with peace of mind and it’s refreshing to see his range and to see that he is just as good in a role of this nature.
Ralph Fiennes is nothing but a voice for the first 2/3 of the film and plays a crazy son of a bitch that is forced to finish a job and Fiennes is just having a blast as the manic Harry. Gleeson and Fiennes have some great scenes together as well and we really get to know these two characters and their relationship with minimal screen time due to the great work these two do on screen together.
Go into this film expecting a hit man action film and you will be disappointed possibly as it is more of a look into these guys’ minds and their paths in life as they discuss religion, death, and life while they wander Bruges. But the experience is funny, twisted, and always interesting that will be a rewarding experience and only get better upon further viewings I imagine. All the actors are fantastic and I didn’t even begin to touch on the dwarf sub plot or the romance involved around Ray. This is a great, darkly humorous, film that is the cream of the crop of 08’s early offerings.