Bullets Over Belgium
by: Martin McDonagh
Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Jordan Prentice,
Released by: Focus
Short: A contradiction that works: a hit
man movie with morals, and a laugh-out-loud
Shoot to Kill. Graze
by Andrew Bender
with a conscience: hey, it could happen. And in “In
Bruges,” which opened this
Sundance Film Festival, the combination is both wildfire
ferocious and whip-smart funny.
Farrell and Brendan Gleeson play hitmen sent to
Bruges, Belgium, following a botched job in London.
Just about every guide book ranks medieval Bruges
among Europe’s most exquisite cities, but Farrell’s
character, Ray, doesn’t think much of the gothic
surroundings. That’s because he’s haunted
by a sin even worse than being a hitman.
all leads to Farrell’s subtlest, funniest, sweetest,
smartest and most accomplished performance in years.
You know you shouldn’t be laughing, but you do
as Ray pouts and hangdogs among the age-old posts and
lintels like a potty-mouthed, sleep-deprived eight-year-old.
But even in this unlikeliest of places he manages to
find his own kind of fairyland: dwarves, drunks and druggies,
babes, hookers and psychopathic robbers, with the occasional
barroom brawl because, you know... just because.
This is writer/director
Martin McDonagh’s first feature-length film, but you’d scarcely know
it. The story is drum-tight, and the dialog rat-tat-tat. Gleeson is both fatherly
and world-weary as Farrell’s compatriot and sounding board, and Ralph Fiennes,
as the mob boss, unloads fusillades of f-bombs as readily as bullets.
us back to the hitmen. For all their bluster and bloviation, these guys operate
under a code, and some of the movie’s most satisfying moments come in seeing
the tension between the code and the city around it.