In Bruges (18)
Dir. Martin McDonagh
Reviewed by Matt Adcock
You might not expect a foul mouthed, crunchingly violent and darkly comic oddball film about hitmen to make you stop and consider life, honour and the nature of Purgatory but that’s exactly what In Bruges achieves…
Meet Ray (Colin Farrell) a newbie contract killer who is eaten up with guilt because his first job has seen him accidentally murder a small boy. He’s hiding out in the quiet fairytale like Belgium town of Bruges with his fellow hitman / mentor Ken (Brendan Gleeson) – both of whom could be in serious trouble with their nasty boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes).
From the initial bickering about being holed up in the middle of nowhere with sightseeing the only real option, things get progressively weirder by the moment in this hard to classify movie that straddles genres. There is so much happening here - one minute you’ll be laughing at dubious kung fu violence being inflicted on a coked up dwarf and the next pondering the afterlife thanks to Hieronymus Bosch's classical painting ‘The Last Judgement’.
Writer / director Martin McDonagh peppers the script by with moments of sublime banter (none of which is very good taste but is liable to make you grin) e.g. Ken tells Ray: “You are the worst tourist.” To which Ray responds “Look, Ken. I grew up in Dublin, and I love Dublin. If I had grown up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me. But I didn't, so it doesn't.”
Or as a Spurs fan - my favourite line in which Ray sums up Purgatory as: “It's when you're not awful, not really bad, but you’re not really good either – a bit like Tottenham…” And that kind of fittingly sums up the film too. I guarantee one thing; you won’t see a stranger neo-noir crime comedy hitman saga this year. Farrell and Gleeson are a very watchable duo who take the wacky plot twists in their stride whilst skating on the surface tension of their misdeeds and the potential repercussions thereof.
"this'll teach you for not liking me in Miami Vice"
DARKMATTERS RATING SYSTEM (all ratings out of maximum 10):
Endorphin Stimulation: ööööööö (7)
- Not a very cohesive whole but a fun packed treat anyway
Tasty Action: öööööö (6)
- Different and brutal
Mind Blight / Boredom: ööööö (6)- Some people won't 'get' this at all
Comedic Value: öööööööö (8)
- Very funny if completely un P.C.
Arbitrary final rating: öööööööö (8)
- Worth seeking out, just don't expect a happy ending!
Liable to make you:
"start contemplating the lives of midgets and hitmen"
DM Poster Quote:
“a drug fuelled orgy of dwarves and gunplay and freakiness"