Movie Review
In Bruges
In Bruges poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published March 22, 2008
US Release: February 8, 2008

Directed by: Martin McDonagh
Starring: Colin Farrell , Ralph Fiennes , Brendan Gleeson

R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language and some drug use
Running Time: 107 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $7,757,130
5 of 117
Seeing all the actors bounce off each other was a lot more enjoyable than I expected.
Now this one slipped in under my radar. I expected a mediocre flick out of In Bruges, something along the lines of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (C+) in Belgium. Colin Farrell stars as one of my favorite wise-ass eccentric characters in recent years, with Ralph Fiennes basically channeling an angry Jeremy Piven from Entourage. This is a smart-ass buddy-buddy movie between Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, who plays the straight man, against Fiennes' ruthless villain. It's a funny movie and it also works as a compelling drama about the moral dilemma behind being a hitman - the craftsmanship is solid all-around. The movie rises above last year's hitman comedy, You Kill Me (B-), with Ben Kingsley, which had pacing issues despite having the same sense of humor (I felt that not all the subplots were necessary - Bruges is well-rounded).

Farrell plays a frustrated Irish hitman for hire with a pessimistic attitude about everything. He's got the accent down perfectly (it also probably helps that Farrell is indeed Irish), and he takes on the role admirably, with mannerisms and all; this is without a doubt the best performance he's given. Brendan Gleeson also does very well as the good guy – Farrell’s better half – who has to put up with him and his negativity. Ralph Fiennes is cast ideally as well and this is his most fun and most evil role he's had thus far. Seeing all the actors bounce off each other was a lot more enjoyable than I expected.

Where Kiss Kiss Bang Bang got carried away too much in slapstick for me despite having its moments, In Bruges is more about nasty and wise-ass exchanges between its rude characters; its edgy sense of humor played pretty well with me. The movie is also kind of dark, thematically, but as an offbeat buddy-buddy movie In Bruges is a bit of a surprise.
Lee's Grade: B
Ranked #5 of 117 between Gran Torino (#4) and Vicky Barcelona (#6) for 2008 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 3025 graded movies
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