In Bruges


Colin Farrell, Brendon Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes
Directed by Martin McDonagh
Rating: A

An experienced hitman and his new (inexperienced) partner take time off in an old, medieval town in Belgium after a job went wrong in London.

Their stay in Bruges came to a bad beginning when Ken (Gleeson) and Ray (Farrell) reach their hotel to find they’d be sharing a room. Guilt weighs on Ray during his stay and his negativity annoys his partner in crime who just wants to enjoy playing the tourist. With an occupation as hit-men and their aggressive nature trouble gravitates toward these two in this quiet, peaceful town.

Through the violence and gore, In Bruges finds a balance between comedy and thriller. Ray’s quick temper lets loose on a couple of American tourists when they take his friendly advice the wrong way. The movie provokes offensive characters like a dwarf who is introduced to Ray and discusses an ultimate eventual “war” of white people versus black people and who would fight on each side. The use of irony In Bruges is another type of humor used that doesn’t have to be as offensive as found in other scenes throughout the movie.

Ray’s partner, Ken, has a few scenes to himself where viewers can see his type of hitman personality. Ken gets a better idea of how their little trip will end when their boss sends the order to kill Ray. There is some good left in Ken despite his many years killing people for money. Though Ray’s mistake was a grave one, Ken sees that there is potential for Ray to start a new life and do some good. Even hitmen have morals and we see examples of this through Ken’s advice to Ray, as well as their boss’ personal belief in crossing lines as a hitman.

Farrell and Gleeson work well together on-screen. They balance each other out by playing the calm, experienced figure (Gleeson) versus the guilt-ridden, aggressive youth (Farrell). In Bruges is a dark comedy that entertains by keeping up its suspense and bleak humor.

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