I had very low expectations for this movie. I'd seen the trailer, hitmen hiding out, and something else goes wrong, yeah, I'd seen it before. Grosse Pointe Blank did it already. So did Agent 47. So what is there left to do for In Bruges
Be funny, be british, and put in some big name stars.
Lo and behold to my surprise, the entire starring cast is made up of actors from the Harry Potter universe.
Didn't know that did you?
Well, lets see.
We have Brendan Gleeson (Ken), playing one of the two hitmen.
Ralph Finnes (Howard) playing the boss.
And Colin Farrell (Ray) playing the other hitman.
Note: This is a stock photo of Colin. His hair is much shorter in the movie.
The plot revolves around a pair of hitmen, Ray and Ken, who are in hiding in a small town in Belgium after a recent hit in England.
Why there? Because Howard found the town to be a beautiful town to visit when he was a small child. And it was cheaper than the Bahamas.
Ray is very disinterested in staying in Bruges, and clearly upset about the whole situation.
Ken is a lot more melancholy about the whole process, and we come to find out that Ray is new at this whole hitman thing, while Ken is a veteran and knows that this is just all part of the process.
Matters are complicated when Howard attempts to call them and they miss the call due to sightseeing. When Ken and Ray do manage to speak to Howard the next night, they find out that their stay is slightly more than just going into hiding.
The film has a deliberately slow pace, odd framing, and very moody soundtrack. The film slows down it's pacing on these fronts to add a layer of surreality to the proceedings, and make Ray's experiences while in Bruges a lot more unusual. One of the highlights is when Ray meets up with an American dwarf actor who is in Bruges to shoot a film that is described as "a eurotrash piece of shit surrealism."
In an amusing scene, Ken and the dwarf, both stoned and high, share a conversation about
the abnormally high rate of suicide amongst dwarf actors.
Despite the slow pace of the film and the meandering story telling at work here, the film is actually quite decent. It elicits quite a bit of humor out of the Ray's inability to shut up. In a scene with Ray being approached by some overweight tourists, the humor is kicked up a notch not just with Ray's behavior, but Ken's unknowning poor advice given to the same tourists.
I really enjoyed this film, and despite it's apparent status as an arthouse film, I would consider this to be an excellent comedy in this time of year when we're often subjected to some of the worst films of the year.
I rate it 3 out of 5 broomsticks.