In Bruges Movie Review
It took me over a week to watch In Bruges. My friends and I got to within ten minutes of the ending credits when, just as one of the main characters was shot through the stomach, the DVD froze. I quickly reported the problem to Netflix and they sent me a new copy within a day, but then it took several days to get everyone's schedules to work together. I could hardly wait.
Despite what some critics - and coworkers - say, In Bruges is a highly entertaining, funny and unique comedy. The flick, which stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hit men who, after a hit gone awry, are sent to Bruges, Belgium by their boss (Ralph Fiennes) until things calm down. While Ken (Gleeson) immediately takes to the small, medieval town, Ray (Farrell) is horrified by the boring nature of the place - until he finds that there is a movie being filmed nearby, which stars "midgets," and meets Chloë (Clémence Poésy).
In Bruges is a hilarious film - but you have to appreciate quirky, sarcastic jokes and a lot of swearing. The people who didn't like this film either didn't get the jokes or didn't care to enjoy them, but In Bruges, written and directed by Martin McDonagh, is packed full of laugh-out-loud pieces of dialogue. Both Gleeson and Farrell are great and all but carry the film on their own, but Farrell is especially excellent. This is the kind of movie that demonstrates just how good of an actor he can be; while he is known more for serious fare such as Tigerland and The New World, he is absolutely hilarious here and shows exquisite range.
In Bruges runs that fine line of dealing with hit men and violence and being consistently funny. More often than not, a movie can be one or the other but not both, but McDonagh pulls it off rather seamlessly. The last 20 minutes or so are fairly serious and a tad bloody, but the transition doesn't seem abrupt at all. He moves his characters from serious to funny and back to serious again without much effort, and even manages to make some of the more "serious" scenes pretty damn funny.
The movie is not for everyone, but those who like edgy, quirky comedies with an European twist should have plenty to cheer about with In Bruges. This is one of the funniest movies of 2008.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.