Colin Farrell and Academy Award-nominee Ralph Fiennes star in this edgy, action-packed comedy, filled with thrilling chases, spectacular shoot-outs and an explosive ending you won’t want to miss!
Hit men Ray (Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson, Harry Potter) have been ordered to cool their heels in the storybook city of Bruges (it’s in Belgium) after finishing a big job. But since hit men make the worst tourists, they soon find themselves in a life & death struggle of comic proportions against one very angry crime boss (Fiennes)!
Get ready for the outrageous and unpredictable fun you will have In Bruges, the movie critics are calling, “wildly entertaining”—Stephen Rebello, Playboy.
The considerable pleasures of In Bruges begin with its title, which suggests a glumly self-important art film but actually fits a rattling-good tale of two Irish gangsters “keepin’ a low profile” after a murder gone messily wrong. Bruges, the best-preserved medieval town in Belgium, is where the bearlike veteran Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and newbie triggerman Ray (Colin Farrell) have been ordered by their London boss to hole up for two weeks. As the sly narrative unfolds like a paper flower in water, “in Bruges” also becomes a state of mind, a suspended moment amid centuries-old towers and bridges and canals when even thuggish lives might experience a change in direction. And throughout, the viewer has ample opportunity to consider whose pronunciation of “Bruges” is more endearing, Gleeson’s or Farrell’s. The movie marks the feature writing-directing debut of playwright Martin McDonagh, whose droll meditation on sudden mortality, Six Shooter, copped the 2005 Oscar for best live-action short. Although McDonagh clearly relishes the musicality of his boyos’ brogue and has written them plenty of entertaining dialogue, In Bruges is no stageplay disguised as a film. The script is deceptively casual, allowing for digressions on the newly united and briskly thriving Europe, and annexing passers-by as characters who have a way of circling back into the story with unanticipatable consequences. That includes a film crew—shooting a movie featuring, to Ray’s fascination, “a midget” (Jordan Prentice)—and a fetching blond production assistant (Clémence Poésy) whose job description keeps evolving. There’s one other key figure: Harry, the Cockney gang boss whose omnipotence remains unquestioned as long as he remains offscreen, back in England, as if floating in an early Harold Pinter play. Harry has reasons inextricably tender and perverse for selecting Bruges as his hirelings’ destination, and eventually he emerges from the aether to express them—first as a garrulous telephone voice and then in the volatile form of Ralph Fiennes. By that point the charmed moment of suspension, already shaken by several irruptions of violence, is pretty well doomed. But In Bruges continues to surprise and satisfy right up to the end. —Richard T. Jameson