The 15:17 to Paris
Producer/Director Clint Eastwood brings us a new idea, having to do with the 2015 Thalys train terrorist attack, and the American heroes who stopped it. What's unique about this, is that Eastwood experiments with allowing the real-life heroes to play themselves. The idea, I would imagine, is for the movie to feel more organic. After all, who would be better at playing you than you? Kudos to Eastwood for experimenting, but unfortunately, good acting goes a long way in engaging the audience. It pains me to say these things because I've always thought of Eastwood as being a great director with such titles under his belt (that I've seen) as 'Sully' and 'Gran Torino'. But what can you do? Every great director needs his/her experimental flop.
Besides the rough acting from our real-life heroes (but seriously, much respect for doing what you did), the film comes across to me as a giant American flag. They seem to make damn sure in this that you know these guys are American. And not only that, but damn patriotic Americans. Even as kids, these dudes play around with guns and talk about the comradery of war. It just seems to flex a giant American bicep the whole time.
But enough about that. The fact of the matter is that this movie is a bit of a throwaway. It's definitely not something I'll remember much by the end of the year, and these guys' story speaks for itself. If you wanna know more, I'd recommend either reading the book this was based on called 'The 15:17 to Paris: The True Story of a Terrorist, a Train, and Three American Soldiers' by Jeffrey E. Stern, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos - the final three of whom were portraying themselves here, or this Wiki article for a quick reference.
The whole thing is a neat idea, but it just wasn't very well executed on the whole, and ends up being unmemorable. These guys didn't convey the emotion an audience would be looking for with a story like this. The thing is, I place none of the blame on them 'cause they tried, and these guys aren't trained to act in any way (that I know of), so this is just what we're gonna get. It's a good story, but too "America, F&%$ yeah", and could have been much more if it was done a bit differently. But again, much respect for these guys in accomplishing the feat that they accomplished.
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