In Bruges

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner17/04/2008

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Hugely enjoyable, frequently hilarious comedy-thriller with a superb script and terrific performances from Gleeson and Farrell.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Martin McDonagh, In Bruges stars Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell as Ken and Ray, two Irish hitmen who are ordered to hide out in Bruges, Belgium after a job in London goes badly wrong. Told to sit tight and await further instructions from their boss (Ralph Fiennes as Harry), the pair attempt to entertain themselves: Ken decides to explore the city's rich medieval history, while Ray falls for an attractive local (Clemence Poesy as Chloe) and befriends a sex-crazed dwarf actor (Jordan Prentice).

However, when Ken finally receives his instructions from Harry, things take a decidedly darker turn and it isn't long before an angry Harry is hopping a train to Bruges to make sure everything goes according to plan.

The Good
Gleeson and Farrell are both superb as Ken and Ray, sparking off each other brilliantly and generating an onscreen chemistry that is genuinely engaging. There's also strong support from Clemence Poesy and Jordan Prentice, as well as an amusingly foul-mouthed turn from Ralph Fiennes, who's clearly channelling Ben Kingsley's character from Sexy Beast.

McDonagh's script crackles with great dialogue and is frequently laugh-out-loud funny (Ray's encounters with an American tourist are particularly hilarious), while subtly laying the groundwork for the darkness of the second half. Ultimately, the film tackles themes such as guilt, redemption, friendship and loyalty and it's also surprisingly moving.

The Great
In addition, the film is gorgeously shot, courtesy of cinematographer Eigil Bryld and McDonagh uses the authentic Bruges locations to terrific effect, with the gothic churches, medieval architecture and Christmas decorations all lending the film a slightly surreal atmosphere. There's also a typically brilliant score by Carter Burwell.

Worth seeing?
In Bruges is a hugely enjoyable comedy-thriller that's suspenseful, moving and laugh-out-loud funny. Highly recommended.

Film Trailer

In Bruges
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Content updated: 28/02/2020 18:36

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