April 10, 2009

NetPix: In Bruges

This brilliant little movie is now my second NetPix which I nearly didn't see due to a really crappy trailer. The preview made this film look ridiculous. However, after hearing from a few friends that it was actually great, I put it on my queue and, like more than a few of the characters in this story of hit men run amok, I was blown away.

The first-time director, Martin Mcdonagh is a well-known playwright ("The Lieutenant of Inishmore", "Beauty Queen of Linane") but he's soon going to be a very well-known filmmaker. Black comedy is not the easiest of genres to master but his script makes it look easy, crackling with sharp repartee while peppered with some shocking acts of violence. McDonagh makes it all work and leaves you guessing up until the very last shot how this is all going to play out.

Colin Farrell turns in his best performance in years as a rookie hit man who's made a terrible mistake. He's not only somewhat insane in this role, going from puppy dog looks to berserk outbursts of mayhem in a split second, but actually manages to have a heart too. You actually care about the bastard which, given what he's up to, really is saying something. The other actors are excellent as well, especially Brendan Gleeson as Colin's world-weary partner and Clemence Poesy as a bright, shiny romantic interest. Ralph Fiennes turns in another badder-than bad guy turn as The Boss.  Remember when Ralph was more romantic leading man? I miss that guy, but have to say, his dark side is effective and used to excellent effect here.  

There are many jokes and fantastic one-liners in this grimly hilarious movie, many of which I'd like to quote right now. I've been repeating two of them with my roommate since we watched the film last night.  But I am going to restrain myself. However, I offer a small warning; try not to be in the act of drinking anything during the scene with the midget, the drugs and the Belgian prostitutes. If you do, it'll be one big spittake.