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Posted at: Feb 9, 2018, 5:20 PM; last updated: Feb 9, 2018, 5:26 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: THE 15:17 TO PARIS

Rare muddle from Eastwood

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Film: The 15:17 to Paris

  • Cast: Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, P.J. Byrne, Bryce Gheisar
  • Director: Clint Eastwood
Rare muddle from Eastwood
A still from The 15:17 to Paris

Johnson Thomas

This film by Clint Eastwood makes actors out of every man and has trained actors looking like fish out of water! Real-life heroes Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guardsman Alek Skarlatos, and college student Anthony Sadler come up against a Moroccan gunman named Ayoub El Khazzani (Ray Corasani) , who exited a washroom strapped with weapons. 

He was eventually subdued by the trio and a 62-year-old businessman, Chris Norman, but by then Stone had received several slashes to his body and another passenger was shot in his neck. The heroes naturally kept the victim alive till the train came to a halt. 

The film starts with a flashback to the trio's childhood, with Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer as Skarlatos and Stone's mothers, talking about their unique character traits, which made them so special. It’s not dramatised well enough, so what you get is basically lip-service to character development. Eastwood’s helming and Dorothy Byskal’s script lack the fluidity required to make the experience more enigmatic.

For most of the runtime, the narrative panders to making the train journey seem inconsequential and ordinary, and it’s only towards the last bit that action comes into play. The lethargic, almost pedantic sway of ordinariness hampers the excitement and thrill. It feels like a half-cooked affair and doesn’t play out memorably either. 

Having real heroes recount their experience on cinema may have been a good idea, but putting it all together in an exciting and intriguing manner appears to be lost on Eastwood. This is one of Eastwood’s worst directorial ventures. Hopefully he won’t go this way again!

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