Eastwood's latest film features a weak feel good plot

By Josh Kirstein
On February 12, 2018

Poster courtesy of Wikipedia

The film “The 15:17 to Paris,” directed by Clint Eastwood, was a fairly entertaining cross between a documentary and a narrative of an incredible event that was based on a true story. Overall, the film was fun to watch even though many of its scenes tended to feel boring or useless to the narrative.

The film is based off the book written by the three men that were involved in saving an entire train full of people from Ayoub El-Khazzani (Ray Corasani), who boarded a train to Paris carrying 300 rounds of ammunition.

The film follows the story of best friends Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone. The movie was made more interesting by the fact that the three main stars weren’t played by actors but instead, the director decided to give the three men a chance to play themselves on the big screen.

This decision can be seen as both good and bad as the three stars were able to represent themselves and also make the audience feel like the movie was more real. However, having the men play themselves also shows why some people are better at acting than others. Skarlatos felt extremely robotic throughout the movie and in the beginning, all the lines felt like they were being read.

Albeit, Sadler and Stone really let their charm show, but it doesn’t make up for Skarlatos’ acting throughout the film.

There were multiple flaws that existed in this movie.

One downside of the film is that it focused almost entirely on their backstory; while that’s not a fault on its own, the film showed many events that felt unnecessary to the narrative.

The film also focused too much on the trio as kids, whereas they could have showed them longing for a purpose or wanting to join the military and air force. It also focused more on the men’s religious side and made the film feel more like a story of fate rather than courage.

The last downside to this film is the main story of how they saved everyone on the train. Even though it felt exciting and was edited together perfectly to maximize how intense the situation was, it only lasted for three minutes of the film and that was it. Even though the scene was performed beautifully, it felt rushed, leaving the audience really wanting more.

One of the final feel-good scenes is at the end of the movie. Midway through the credits, the heroes are on a parade float as it tells the audience the medals that they received and shows them waving to the many people that have heard of their heroics.

Despite the movie’s faults, it was still a good film that inspires pride for the men who helped the people on the train. It gave audiences the feeling of wanting to help and inspire others and that is where the charm in the movie shone through. This is truly an inspiring movie based on true events and no flaws in the film can take that away from them.

 

jkirstei@ramapo.edu

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