Movie Title: The 15:17 to Paris
First Watch / Repeat Viewing
Running Time: 1 hr. and 34 min.
Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo (Literally. I had the theater to myself.)
Where did I watch it?: Regal Stadium 12 – Swansea, MA
Clint Eastwood’s latest directorial project features the people involved in the actual terrorist attack portrayed in the film. That sounds like a pretty cool concept until you actually see it in action. The latter portion of The 15:17 to Paris isn’t so much bad as it is uneventful. The initial stretch is painful through.
The early portion of the story follows the three main characters that will ultimately end up on the train as children. They are portrayed as reckless troublemakers that need to be medicated for such wild acts as being in the hall without a pass. You can tell Clint Eastwood hasn’t been in a school in at least fifty years watching this part of the movie. I cringed as a teacher suggested they medicate their child for ADD without any provocation. A principal meeting with the same parents tells them that the boys had all the signs of being able to hurt other people and tells one of the mothers that she needs to give up custody of her son to his father. That is not how that works Clint. The teachers are laughably poor caricatures. Nothing about the school setting felt realistic, but it is probably what Eastwood thinks schools are like, which is somewhat terrifying. The child performances were also exceptionally bad though I blame a lot of this on the writing. In one scene they are out using air soft guns and pause to discuss how great war would be because there is so much camaraderie. These kids are 11. This is not how kids talk. This part of the movie also starts throwing in random appeals to God that don’t seem to fit in the movie. They get worse later on when one of the mother’s tells her son that God talked to her and told her something very exciting was going to happen to her son. It was hard to watch.
When the kids become adults two join the armed forces and one gets virtually no background information at all. The three decide to meet up in Europe for a road trip and spend some time with each other. For large stretches, I felt like I was watching someone’s video from a vacation they took. Vacations are fun. Hearing about someone else’s vacation is…less so. That’s what the movie was like. The performances were also pretty bad though not as bad as the child performances earlier in the movie. There were actually some interesting actors in small roles like Judy Greer and Tony Hale, but nothing was done with them. The events on the train take less than five minutes and are decently done and the end is cool.
The train scene was interesting, but the endless nothing filled with painful acting and complete lack of events it takes to get there just isn’t worth it. Skip it.
Tomorrow’s Movie: Toy Story (1995)