The 15:17 to Paris
Biography / Drama
The 15:17 to Paris
Biography / Drama
In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris--an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The film follows the course of the friends' lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.
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May 09, 2018 at 03:48 PM
The 15:17 to Paris (2018)
I'm very mixed on Clint Eastwood's filmography especially in recent years. He is responsible for some great work from behind the camera but that hasn't really been the case in recent years. The 15:17 to Paris looked a bit bland and like a run of the mill affair when it comes to recreation of recent global events in film. It didn't help that critics weren't too pleased but of course, I then remembered that I never listen to critics. I'll tell you, the film is flawed and has slow passages but I liked it more than I thought I would.
The film is based on the real life events about a train that had a terror attack foiled on its way from Amsterdam to Paris. The attack was stopped primarily by three men who were best friends growing up. One of them attempts to join the military and the film focuses on his trials to make it in the military, his relationship with his friends, and his quest to find out what his purpose is and how he can truly save some lives.
The first note that needs to be made about the film is that the three lead actors cast in the film are the actual three who acted during the real life incident. With that however, comes a loss in quality of acting in the film. I get that Eastwood wanted to go with an authentic element by having the guys who lived it tell the story, but you could just tell that these weren't actors as they weren't always convincing or delivering lines properly. The film does spend an extended amount of time going into backstory as well which a times was quite noticeable.
Otherwise, I enjoyed it. Some of the cinematography and locations (especially when the cast is on vacation) is gorgeous. The last twenty minutes or so are quite intense and satisfying. The event was something that isn't enough to warrant an entire feature film so I get that we had to go off point. Was the film necessary? No. It is however better than some of the stuff I've seen from Eastwood in recent years so I'll take it.
Terrible, terrible, terrible... so disappointed.
So this is a movie about the 15:17 to Paris?! Well, a few minutes of the movie are actually spent in the train but the rest is a bunch of scenes patched together that it makes me wonder that the movie has been approved by a studio.
We see the 3 main characters childhood and honestly I didn't care about it at all. Some typical bullying in school, everything was pretty pointless in terms of characterization.
Then the glorious "join the military" phase and some scenes at the military, nothing new, more pointless scenes, I couldn't have cared less.
Later then the trip to Europe - as somebody who grew up in Europe and traveled to all of those locations I have to say the shots in Europe were poorly made. I don't know if that's Mr. Eastwoods fault or who was responsible - for somebody who has never been in Europe you get the wrong ideas - everywhere.
Funny as always - people who are supposed to be Germans speaking with a nice American accent - but that's in almost all American movies.
Finally a few scenes on the train, the terrorist gets disarmed in like 2 minutes, some drama then about a guy who got shot and then we have some kind of emotional moment when actual footage of French President François Hollande presenting the three men with the Légion d'honneur was used.
I found this movie was a waste of my time, Mr. Eastwood was more entertaining when talking to an empty chair, the three real life actors are no actors (which is not their fault) and of course what they did in real life is admirable.
The movie is not.
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Nowhere Near Clint Eastwood's Best
While it doesn't come close to Clint Eastwood's best films, I still definitely enjoyed this story of life and bravery., but some will find the film too slow and just waiting for the thwarted terrorist attack. We all know the story, 3 Americans stop an attempted terrorist attack aboard a train to Paris, but the film is almost barely about that, its more of story about their lives and what led them to their destiny. I only really sort of didn't like the acting, which I will discuss later, but for the most part I had no issues with this film, which is not over-patriotic flag waving propaganda like many anti-military Liberals will say it is. Its a story about the lives of men as well as when bravery is forced upon average citizens.
First off, about the acting, the Americans didn't do the best job, but that is understandable because these are not actors, but the real men who were there. So its very clear that they are untrained actors, even with the help of veteran actor Clint Eastwood. The story was well put together, chronicling the lives of the heroes in question. Though some of the touching an emotional conversations are bit cheesy, which is surprising coming from Clint Eastwood but it goes by quickly and ws no real issue. But over all I thoroughly enjoyed this film, even with its slight flaws that honestly only bothered me slightly.
I would recommend it.