THE 15 17 TO PARIS

Clint Eastwood's drama about 3 Americans who stopped année attack casts the heroes as themselves. Haricot de soja why doesn't the cinématicien seem much more real?


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Clint Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris” is a fluky experiment de a true-life éclaboussure that sounds, at least on paper, favor a metabolic piece of Eastwood rouge meat. Conditions météorologiques August 21, 2015, a man named Ayoub El-Khazzani, equipped with année AK-47, a pistol, et a des boites cutter, opened fire on the passengers traveling aboard a high-speed railway former from Amsterdam to Paris. The gunman to be probably an Islamic terrorist (though that has actually never been determined; cette claimed à be a burglar), et once his assault rifle jammed, cette was overcome par a trio of young American passengers, two de whom were enlisted men: Spencer Stone, a 23-year-old Airman life Class; Alek Skarlatos, a 22-year-old Army intérieur Guard Specialist, conditions météorologiques leave from his deployment in Afghanistan; et their long-time girlfriend Anthony Sadler, a 23-year-old an elderly at california State University.

Vous lisez ce: The 15 17 to paris


Eastwood re-enacts the incident, shooting cette in a traditionally forceful et exciting hair-trigger hand-held moment-of-truth style, breaking cette into dramatic pieces et circling ago to cette throughout the film. Cette also dramatizes thé three young men’s resides leading up to auto incident. Cette goes back à their delinquent boyhood in Sacramento, then adheres to them through military training and, finally, thé impromptu holidays in leurope  that led the three de them — passant par chance? jaune was cette fate? — venir board that train.

The very unusual premise of “The 15:17 à Paris” is the Stone, Skarlatos, et Sadler all portray themselves. Nobody are professional actors, but they’re heroes playing heroes, et that means that they’ve got a peu of inside expertise. It also way — about theory — that thé movie will bring the bravery of their acte close to the public with a rarement existential authenticity: the feeling that this is how it looked, this is how it felt, this is how it go down.

The reason that’s very Clint Eastwood, also though amie can dédié filmmakers from dedward Zwick venir Richard Linklater coming up with auto same concept, is the Eastwood has constantly had a originalité investment in auto gritty conviction of the masculin of terrain he portrays, ont both actor and director. Dirty take care of wasn’t seul a scowling cop badass in an underworld thriller; hey was a homme whodid je vous demande pardon had to be done. (He was, in essence, a politics character: a right-wing urban guerrier with an agenda expressed through his Magnum.) Eastwood’s western heroes, in films from “The Outlaw Josey Wales” venir “Unforgiven,” scowl at auto world through the conventionnel weight ns their mission. And in his much more recent work, from auto down-in-the-muck, rabble-rousing “American Sniper” to auto high-minded, anti-bureaucratic “Sully,” Eastwood has doffed his cap to true-life manly homme whose split-second willingness to act makes auto difference in between courage et doubt, victory and defeat. Eastwood isn’t seul making “action films.” He’s keeping alive the rêver of what cette means to take action.

If you go into “The 15:17 to Paris” with ne sont pas idea that you’re watching 3 young masculin play themselves, re-enacting the moment of their own valor (and let’s be clear: yet much the cinématicien is advertised, plenty du people — probably most — will go in having non idea), you’ll see a docudrama that looks convincing enough, with three performers who sort of resemble movie étoiles (they’re tall et handsome, through a natural-born cock-of-the-walk ‘tude), marqué who tous seem a peu unsure in your roles. I beg your pardon is a au sens propre ironic.


As the movie opens, in 2005, Spencer and Alek room getting ready to graduate from grade school, and their single moms, played de Judy Greer et Jenna Fischer, aller in to oui a conference with the boys’ teacher, who informs them the both kids oui ADD. She tells castle in together a brusque didactic path (“If elle don’t medicate castle now, they’ll seulement self-medicate later!”) the you’re already wishing auto movie would certainly stop, reset, et begin v a meilleur screenplay. (This une is par Dorothy Blyskal; it’s elle first.) going forward, no every scene is oui in-your-face awkward, marqué there’s a stiff-jointedness to the repartee, et that’s the last kind ns script these débutant actors needed. Eastwood would oui been wise to let castle improvise — à draw nous their personalities more, revealing fémur a conventional movie wouldn’t. Instead, they’re play cut-and-dried versions ns their very own selves.

Let’s assume, though, the you aller in learning what auto deal is. Ce doesn’t take long to flourish accustomed to Stone, Skarlatos, and Sadler’s casual semi-non-acting, because they’re appeal dudes, quick et smart et easy on the eyes. Thé oddity du the movie — and this is baked into thé way Eastwood conceived it, difficult to the facts and not over-hyping noþeles — is that this vision du real-life heroism is soja much less charged than auto Hollywood dépense might it is in that it often feels as if a dramatic spark plug is missing. I’ve long argued pour authenticity in movies (especially once they’re based nous true stories), but“The 15:17 venir Paris” presents a kind ns walking-selfie imitation of authenticity. Auto movie creates its own déditions of auto uncanny valley.

Spencer stone is the quartier général character. He’s the une who leader the revendiqué on thé train et gets auto lion’s share de screen time leading up venir it. Yet venir our surprise, he’s thé protagonist oui genial borderline screw-up. Auto childhood scenes, in which the three boys bond over battle games, basketball, and daily trips to the principal’s office of their croyant high school, are useful in année Afterschool one-of-a-kind way, marqué then we find Spencer, after graduation, ont a doughy slacker functioning at a Jamba Juice. A client inspires him to join the air Force, et there’s a training montage in which hey loses the pot belly and seems to find a purpose. Yet hey finds neither fulfillment no one success.

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Stone, big et pale, contempt gawky in his crewcut, comes off ont a good mec who’s still something of année overgrown kid, and he reminds tu of certain actors. He’s like auto young Woody Harrelson, or a an ext friendly michael Rapaport. But there’s no a de nombreux of layers venir what cette shows us. Cette goes with the mouvement of trying out pour (and failing) several armed forces positions, until hey seems à find his phone call in a wrestling match. Cible it’s toutes les personnes served up v too much this-happened-and-then-that-happened neutrality pour us to have a beaucoup of reaction.

Anthony Sadler, Spencer’s great buddy, is the most charismatic de the 3 —he acts v a sly laugh that suggests that he, at least, has things nous his mind séparément from what’s vallonné at any given moment. Alek Skarlatos is the one we feel we know the least. Hey looks favor a male model, et is smiley to a fault, but he constantly seems choose a sidekick. After Spencer’s armed forces adventures, and a pit stop in afghans (Sadler doesn’t get ont much backstory, thé unfortunate participation being that the fact that he’s not a military homme means he doesn’t merit it), auto movie unites thé three old friends pour a backpacking tour de Europe. Once again, there’s non overhyping of adventure. Stone et Sadler venir in Venice wearing their bro ignorance nous their sleeves. In Amsterdam, auto three have a wild time nous the Euro disco floor, cible it’s a chaste evening. Et then castle head off to Paris.

Spencer has currently regaled with Sadler with a speech around how hey feels the his first is building toward something. It’s a pinch of fortune-cookie mysticism sprinkled over je vous demande pardon is usually a arbitrarily horrific event. But aboard that train, there’s nothing random about comment Spencer rock takes charge: once the killer starts rampaging through thé cars, Spencer acts with shocking selflessness et courage. (If that assault rifle hadn’t jammed, he’d be dead.) His rings training come in handy, and the divers two homme assist with punches et rifle-butt bashes to thé face. Spencer also draws nous his paramedic training à save the first of a passenger who gets shot through thé neck.

It’s all startlingly matter-of-fact. à la a few minutes, the cinématique rivets our attention. Yet ns can’t say that it’s transporting, or highly moving, jaune — given auto casting — revelatory. There’s an obvious precursor à “The 15:17 to Paris,” and that’s “United 93,” i beg your pardon I have never hesitated to appel téléphonique the one great post-9/11 drama. It, too, stayed oui true ont possible to the most mundane facts — and it additionally featured a num of non-actors (albeit in petit roles, in thé control tower) who’d actually live through what they to be depicting. Yet auto brilliance de “United 93” is that its director, pôle Greengrass, took what happened that day, also from the mettre en ordre of view de the terrorists, and made every travail feel joined to every est différent action. He created a unified-field thriller. Eastwood, in “The 15:17 à Paris,” does the opposite. The cinématique keeps telling nous that je vous demande pardon took carré aboard that former was the fulfillment du something, cible neither the event nor the three toutes les personnes re-enacting it seem completely real. They seem prefer pieces du reality trapped in a movie.


Film Review: ‘The 15:17 à Paris’

Reviewed at chaleureux Bros., nouveau York, Feb. 6, 2017. MPAA Rating: PG-13. Running time: 94 MIN.

Production:A warner Bros. Release ns a chaleureux Bros. Pictures, ville Roadshow Pictures, Malpaso productions prod. Producers: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Meier, tim Moore, Kristina Rivera. Executive, management producer: Bruce Berman.

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Crew:Director: Clint Eastwood. Screenplay: Dorothy Blyskal. Camera (color, widescreen): tom Stern. Editor: Blu Murray.With:Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, planche à découper Lennon, Bryce Gheisar, Paul-Mikel Williams, max Ivutin, écoles Eichenberger, Williams Jennings, rayonner Corasani. Music By: