In Bruges (2008) Movie Review
In Bruges (2008)
For many months, many friends have told me I need to see this movie as I will love it. I didn’t doubt them for a second, but I put off watching it for such a long time as to me, it felt like it wasn’t a “must see” movie as it’s not the sort of movie I tend to go for (I don’t rush out for comedies).
So last night, I decided tonight was the night and I sat down and loaded up In Bruges on Netflix and began watching. Boy did I wish I had watched this sooner!
In Bruges (2008) – Movie Details
In Bruges is a movie released in 2008 by director Martin McDonagh. It stars Colin Farrell (Phone Booth (2004), Horrible Bosses (2011)), Brendan Gleeson (Harry Potter, 28 Days Later (2002)) and Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter, Schindler’s List (1993)). It was shot in Brugge, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium on a budget of approximately $15,000,000. As of writing this review (18th March 2012) it holds an overall average rating of 8.0/10 on IMDB.com after 155,390 votes. This film is rated 18 by the BBFC and features “strong bloody violence, very strong language and hard drug use”
In Bruges (2008) – Spoiler-Free Summary
In Bruges is a movie about two Irish Assassins, Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) who have been sent to the small historic medieval town of Bruges, Belgium by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes). They are unsure why they have been sent there but Ken uses the opportunity to indulge himself in the local culture. Ray, on the other hand, isn’t as enthusiastic and just wants to go home.
After touring the sites, despite Ray’s protests, they end up back at the hotel where Ray becomes even more bored for being stuck in his hotel room. Neither of them can figure out why the boss would send them to Bruges but assume it isn’t for a holiday, but rather an assignment. Ray tells Ken that Bruges will look incredible at night and convinces him to go out for a look around town.
Whilst out and about, they come across a film set. A dwarf actor catches the eye of Ray and he make Ken go over to find out what they’re doing. Whilst on the set, Ray’s eyes meet with a beautiful girl and falls head over heels for her. She’s an actress in the film they are shooting. He catches her on a break and proceeds to charm her and to ask her out on a date. Eventually she gives in and leaves him her number.
Meanwhile, Ken arrives back at the hotel to find out that his boss has tried calling him and left him a message telling him that he’d better answer his call tomorrow, or there will be severe consequences. The next day, Ray convinces Ken to stay in all night at the hotel, waiting in for the important phone call so that he can go on his date. The only condition is that Ray has to do exactly what Ken wants to do during the day time. No “if’”’s or “buts”’s. Reluctantly, he accepts.
Whilst touring a local church, we are shown a flashback of Ray at a church confessional. He isn’t there to repent his sins but rather add to the list. His target is the priest he’s talking to. He opens fire on the priest as the priest exits through a door. He doesn’t realise that in front of the priest was a small boy. Unfortunately, the small boy is caught in the cross fire and killed instantly with a bullet to the head. Ray lives with the guilt and burden of killing the little boy every single day of his life.
Later that day, Ray heads out on for his date and Ken is forced to stay in and wait for the phone call. The phone call arrives in the middle of the evening. Their gut reaction was right. They are in Bruges on assignment. But who is the target? Not much goes on in Bruges. Perhaps the film company has something to do with why they’ve been sent on assignment there? I suggest you watch to find out.
In Bruges (2008) – My Opinions
Although I enjoy a good laugh, comedy films aren’t really my interest. I find a lot of the time in films I’ve watched growing up, that the humour feels a little bit too forced and predictable based on clichés and things that have happened in other famous films. I didn’t get this from In Bruges. I sat down and watched the entire thing and laughed from beginning to end.
I thought the film was well-acted as well. I’ve previously seen Colin Farrell in Phone Booth and the characters the actor played in both films were night and day. If it wasn’t for the fact I had known Colin was in both of them, I’d have never guessed it. A steller and funny performance with the running gag being something to do with being stuck “in Bruges”. My first exposure to Brendan Gleeson was in 28 Days Later where he played the father of a girl whom, together, they had so far survived the zombie outbreak. I really enjoyed his performance in that. He felt very believable as a loving father which is a total contrast to the character he plays in In Bruges where he plays a deadly assassin. Another well-acted role that allowed me to suspend my disbelief and become totally submerged in the film.
The setting of the film was really nice. It felt “luxurious” and modern whilst maintaining the face that Bruges was supposed to be a medieval town. There’s also a piece of music that plays during one of the final action scenes which I really liked. It fitted well and sounded good.
No complaints about the editing or directing of the film. The only bit was towards the beginning where they were sailing on the canal around Bruge. The water was absolutely still and yet when they flashed to the shots of Ray and Ken on the canal boat the water was rippling. Then again on a flash to the canal, the water was still. I am just being pedantic with this complaint though as it really doesn’t effect the film whatsoever.
In Bruges (2008) – Final Thoughts
I think the 8.0/10 on IMDB.com is justified. The film was great. Very entertaining and a very good story with twists and turns. It was well-acted and hilarious. If you haven’t already seen this film, definitely pick it up on DVD or now Blu-Ray. You won’t regret your purchase. For those of you who have already seen it, pick it up on DVD or Blu-Ray, anyway. It’s well worth the money.