Saturday, February 09, 2008

In Bruges

In the February wasteland of new films, there is usually one that breaks out and stays with you for a while. This year, that film is "In Bruges". It opened the Sundance Film Festival and it's lots of fun if you're a fan of dark comedies.

Written and directed by playwright Martin McDonagh, "In Bruges" stars Colin Farrell and Brenden Gleeson as Hit men hiding out in the real medieval town of Bruges, located in Belgium. Mr. Farrell is Ray, a goofy sort riddled with guilt over a botched hit. Mr. Gleeson is Ken, a seasoned professional who is taken by the old world charm of the city. There is great chemistry between them and it makes for an enjoyable buddy film with a new perspective. The film also stars Ralph Fiennes as Harry, the hit men's boss and while he doesn't have much screen time, he is a commanding presence and crucial to the story.

Mr. McDonagh writes primarily for the theater and his plays are know for their dark humor and shocking flashes of violence. "In Bruges" is very funny, primarily due to Mr. Farrell and yet, there are moments of violence that are pretty graphic. Also be warned, Mr. McDonagh writes from the gut and there is a liberal amount of "foul" language in the dialog. The film also takes plenty of shots at "ugly" Americans which some in the audience may find insulting.