Shootfirst first. Sightsee later.
Hitmen Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) have been ordered to relax in the medieval Belgian city of Bruges (pronounced 'broozh') by their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to cool their heads for a couple of weeks after a difficult job.
They are both a bit out of place amidst the ancient architecture, canals, and cobbled streets; Ray hates the place but the fatherly Ken rather enjoys the beauty and serenity. But the longer they stay waiting for Harry's call, the more surreal their experience becomes, as they find themselves in weird encounters with locals, tourists, violent medieval art, a dwarf American actor (Jordan Prentice) shooting a European art film, Dutch prostitutes, and a potential romance for Ray in the form of Chloë (Clémence Poésy), who may have some dark secrets of her own.
Director McDonagh made Six Shooter, also starring Brendan Gleeson, which earned him the 2006 Academy Award for Best Live-Action Short Film.
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BY Andrew Hedley Flicks Writer
Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Gleeson) are two unassuming hitmen sent to the quaint Belgian town of Bruges to lie low after a job gone wrong. While their irate boss Harry (A vicious Ralph Fiennes) yells expletives down the phone line from London, they quietly explore the canals and cobbled streets, encountering everything from a dwarf to a beautiful French girl (Clémence Poésy), unaware that Harry has something big in store for them…
While he's usually the harbinger of a sub-par movie, Farrell is on top form here, giving his rookie Ray a big fidgety dose of ADD whilst still imbuing him with a loveable charm. Gleeson's Ken is a serene older presence and Fiennes is almost unrecognisable as a ratty gangster boss.
Some of the violence verges on ridiculous, but there's an eerie, slightly fantastical quality to the proceedings. Adding to the atmosphere is the brooding score by regular Coen Brothers collaborator Carter Burwell.
This is Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's first feature film, having previously helmed Oscar-winning short Six Shooter (Also starring Gleeson). His debut is a cleverly plotted, sharp-witted bit of entertainment, perfect to watch with a big crowd on a Friday night.
The Peoples' Reviews
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The movie drew me in with feeling and fairy tale despite the verbal and physical violence. The movie is full of ironic humour, such as a hit man saving his target, and flawed characters who are quite ironic in themselves because of those flaws. In this setting, the one flawless character - the pregnant woman - is like a fine jewel in a tawdry setting.
The movie would have been better to have drawn out the bored to death in Bruges theme... More before introducing death himself. I've seen deleted scenes on the DVD and several should have been kept in the movie. But I guess they wanted to hold onto the audience who couldn't be counted on to wait for the expected action (see PIC_NZ's comment).Hide
I always liked that Dorothy Parker line: You can lead a whore to culture... Travel is wasted on some people and with In Bruges we meet the ultimately unworthy tourist.
There are just so many levels to enjoy this movie. It's a must see.
It was no "Lockstock"
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