HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  In Bruges Good After Bad
Year: 2008
Director: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clémence Poésy, Thekla Reuten, Jordan Prentice, Zeljko Ivanek, Jérémie Renier, Eric Godon, Elizabeth Berrington, Anna Madeley, Inez Stinton, Ran Yaniv, Sachi Kimura, Jean-Marc Favorin, Ciarán Hinds
Genre: Comedy, Drama, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: After the hit in London, the two gunmen have been sent abroad to Bruges until the situation cools off - or so they think. The younger one, Ray (Colin Farrell) cannot think of a worse place to be sent, as to him the city represents everything boring about Europe with its tasteful, medieval architecture and nothing to do all day but visit it as one of the many tourists there. The elder, Ken (Brendan Gleeson), has other ideas and is looking forward to drinking in the culture, eager to take his friend on an improving jaunt around the sights, yet all Ray really wants to do is leave. And so they wait for the instructions from their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes)...

Here's a little film that caught quite a few viewers by surprise, as the title gives nothing away, and the subject matter - yet another gangster movie - didn't sound too promising in light of how many other works had trod the same path before; the law of diminishing returns might have set in here. However, writer and director Martin McDonagh, whose playwright background revealed itself in the way the cast relished their excellent dialogue, found a fresh angle on what could have been the same old men with guns formula, and he did that by placing the story in a religious context.

Ray and Ken are effectively awaiting judgement for their sins, and although we never see Ken kill anyone, we know thanks to a flashback that Ray has, in the course of performing the hit on the priest they were sent to target, accidentally killed a child who was praying in the church there. McDonagh makes us fully aware he did not murder the child, so we can be allowed some degree of sympathy with him, but it's a shaky line to be walking, and it's well seen that we spend a good half hour in Ray's company so that we get to like him before we find out what it is he is running away from. Still, once we know what he has done, we begin to wonder if we should be anticipating a punishment on him.

Or more than anticipating, should we be welcoming it? In Bruges is in effect a morality story dressed up with trendy swearing and violence (though not much sex), and while that's not always to its advantage, as it does lead to an overly manufactured method of wrapping everything up, neither does it beat the audience over the head with its adherence to the rights and wrongs of sin and redemption. Don't go thinking this gets too heavy for its own good, for though things take a turn for the serious - for Ray and Ken, at any rate - there are plenty of witty lines and enough absurd situations to make this qualify at least partly as a comedy. If this does seem familiar to an extent, it's because it adopts the same tone as the earlier cult hit Sexy Beast.

To the point where Fiennes is essentially doing a cover version of Ben Kingsley's performance in that film, something McDonagh and company seem all to aware of thanks to a reference to Gandhi in one line. That said, there must be something about the character of a malevolent gangster that brings out the best in posh British thesps, as Fiennes makes the role his own, and even though Harry shows up in Bruges alone to sort things out, you can accept that he is a major threat to the two hitmen who have let him down. The rest of the story is about offering the characters a way of atoning for their sins, making their peace with God, before the inevitable occurs and their pasts catch up with them, and while nobody in this is pious, it's as if the centuries-old Christian surroundings, which does not seem to have updated its views on sin and forgiveness in that time, forces the three to meet their day of reckoning. Music by Carter Burwell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2894 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: