Originally Reviewed – 2/8/2010
In Bruges is the first feature film by Oscar winning director and acclaimed Irish playright Martin McDonagh starring Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. The film centers around two hitmen who are hiding out in the quaint Belgium town of Bruges after a tough job. While in Bruges they muse about their line of work, life, death and midgets…yes, midgets.
This is one of those movies where you don’t know whether to laugh out loud or be revolted as the line is towed between those two extremes expertly. While the movie has it’s quiet introspective moments, the film is also shockingly violent, especially in the third act and bitterly, almost offenisvely, funny. It’s this balance of raw comedy, violence and human experience that gives the film it’s charm and depth.
As for the leads, Gleeson is great as the elder hitman providing a nice straight man to Colin Farrell’s “wild boy” character. Gleeson appreicates the charm and history of Bruges while Farrell wants to either leave or party. It’s a father/son relationship that never feels forced and gives the film it’s emotional grounding.
Be aware, this is a English movie about Irish hitmen in Belgium, so the accents can be tough if you’re not used to it. If the accents in Snatch didn’t give you a problem, you should be fine for In Bruges. Also, the film does lag in spots, especially in the quiet scenes where you really have to strain to hear what they’re saying. I had my surround system up LOUD and I was still having a hard time.
That aside, In Bruges is a fun and thoughtful trip into the morality of murderers full of “Snatch-esqe” humor and non sequiturs, shocking violence and truly touching moments. If you dig Guy Ritchie films, you will more than dig this.
Score – 80%
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