In Bruges is my kind of movie. Like Drop Dead Gorgeous, Very Bad Things, Wrong Is Right, Harold and Maude, S.O.B. and the original Wicker Man, it appeals to the part of me that thinks death is very, very funny.
This is somewhere in between last year’s whimsical Death at a Funeral and, say, Shaun of the Dead which was a bit heavy-handed. In Bruges is a bit more likable than your average black comedy, as it’s actually not cynical (as many films in the genre are).
Hitmen Brendan Gleeson (prob’ly best known as Harry Potter’s Alastor Moody) and young cohort Colin Farrell (lotsa stuff, but I like his turn in Phone Booth the best) are in the picturesque Belgian city of Bruges after bungling a job. They’re on orders to sight see until things cool down, and Colin Farrell’s character is bored to tears of all historical richness. (Hence the title of this entry.)
The only thing to pique his interest is the morally dodgy Clémence Poésy who seems torn between her romantic interest and her inclination to roll easily duped marks. Adding a little bit of spice to the proceedings is Jordan Prentice (probably best known for playing Howard T. Duck). They meander through the streets of Bruges until Ralph Fiennes, their boss, tells them the real reason for their visit. (Favorite role ever for Fiennes, a low-talking, yet somehow likable, uber-violent thug.)
Ironically, despite the topic and the source of humor, this is a movie about honor and redemption. You’re kind of rooting for these guys, hit men though they are. At the same time, you know it’s not likely.
Anyway, lotsa laffs (if you can laugh at this sort of thing, which I can), and great acting all around. A refreshing change from the brooding, introspective stuff that dominated the award season.