Thursday 13 December 2018

The 15:17 to Paris movie review: 'an utter disaster; a staggeringly incompetent and woefully misjudged exercise'

1 star

The 15:17 to Paris
The 15:17 to Paris

Chris Wasser

OH, boy. I’d love to tell you that Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial offering — a cinematic reconstruction of the 2015 Thalys train attack — is a noble effort.

What we have here is the true story of how three American men — two soldiers, Spencer Stone and Alek Skarlatos, and their mate, Anthony Sadler — took down an armed terrorist on board a train headed for Paris, back in August 2015. They saved lives. They later co-wrote a book about their experiences and, long story short, Mr Eastwood wanted in.

Here’s the kicker: the three American heroes are playing themselves here. We’re not joking. How does it all pan out? Astonishingly bad, as you might imagine. We get their life story. We get a tour of Rome (the chaps were backpacking through Europe when they became international heroes). We get lots of absurd army propaganda.

It defies belief. It looks and sounds like a poorly-scripted, horrendously-acted, MTV reality show about guns, God and travel, with a flimsy action sequence tacked on at the end. It is an utter disaster; a staggeringly incompetent and woefully misjudged exercise. Why? Because Spencer, Alek and Anthony are not actors. And, no, the real terrorist does not play himself.


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