True Story Becomes Lackluster Hollywood Movie

ZonaHollywood.com - CATEGORY Report metro: TITLE

Real-life hero Spencer Stone stars in “The 15:17 to Paris.”(Photo: Warner Bros)

CONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

In 1955, Congressional Medal of Honor winner Audie Murphy, America’s most decorated World War II soldier, played himself in a Technicolor and Cinemascope version of his wartime exploits, “To Hell and Back,” which became a major hit.

In 2018, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone play themselves in director Clint Eastwood’s “The 15:17 to Paris,” the true story of how a trio of friends disarmed a heavily armed terrorist intent on killing the 500-plus passengers on a train speeding to Paris from Brussels.

Americans are understandably attracted to the notion of everyday heroes, of brave warriors hidden in plain sight, people ordinary on the surface but possessed of astonishing reserves of courage that reveal themselves when emergency calls.

Eastwood dealt with a similar situation in 2016’s “Sully,” starring Tom Hanks as the real-life commercial airline pilot who made a successful emergency landing on the Hudson River, he understands these stories demand the just-the-facts style of direction.

Though the sequences of the actual heroism on the Paris-bound train are fully as crisp and involving as you’d expect, the other sections of the film intent on demonstrating how undeniably everyday the three participants were up to that crucial moment, fall regrettably flat.

Despite the attempts of first-time screenwriter Dorothy Blyskal (working from a book that Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone wrote with Jeffrey E. Stern), there does not appear to be an involving feature film in their story, heroic though it is.

The nearly 50 movies Murphy went on to make after “To Hell and Back,” notwithstanding, Eastwood took a risk in casting the real protagonists in their own story.

It’s not their lack of compelling charisma that is the picture’s main problem but rather that the on-screen story has not come up with anything compelling for them to do outside their heroism.

The film teases that attack from its opening frames of an ominous-looking man walking through the Brussels train station on the way to boarding the 15:17 but soon flashes back toa bland examination of the bond the men forged as middle-school students in Sacramento circa 2005.

No one sees these kids as potential heroes. Rambunctious but good-hearted, young Spencer (William Jennings) and Alek (Bryce Gheisar) get sent to the principal’s office a lot, much to the despair of their struggling single-parent mothers, played by Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer, who nevertheless have their backs.

At that office is where the boys meet young Anthony (Paul-Mikel Williams), also a frequent subject of Christian school discipline. The three become fast friends, sharing an interest in war and weaponry and listening intently when a teacher, in one of the movie’s numerous bits of foreshadowing, talks of Franklin D. Roosevelt as someone who “did the right thing at the right time to defuse critical situations.”

As adults, the three go their separate ways and lead what appear to be haphazard lives. The friends decide to reunite on a European vacation, but before we get to the train trip that made them famous, we are shown a detailed rundown of all the standard sights they took in — including the Trevi Fountain and the Colosseum in Rome, the bars of Amsterdam, the canals of Venice, the city’s iconic Piazza San Marco and pricey Gritti Palace restaurant, to name just a few.

As noted, the disarming of the terrifying Ayoub El Khazzani is well presented in a “You Are There” way and gives us a real sense of the kind of bravery involved. A single act of heroism can truly transform a life, but that action does not necessarily make for a transformative motion picture.

‘The 15:17

To Paris’

GRADE: C-

Rated PG-13 for bloody images, violence, drug references and language

Running time: 93 minutes

In theaters now

CONNECT>TWEET>LINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

ZonaHollywood.com, index latest News this day of events, accidents, crime, law, News unique, Politics, and special reports on the world and International.

Source : http://www.detroitnews.com/story/entertainment/movies/2018/02/09/movie-review-paris-lackluster-hollywood-movie/110270922/

True story becomes lackluster Hollywood movie
'The 15:17 to Paris' review: Headline-grabbing true story becomes lackluster Hollywood movie
'Greatest Showman' Is the Feel-good Movie of the Century
Home Movies
The Maine Millennial: It’s not flashy, but my grandparents’ love story a true romance
How Did ‘The Shape of Water’ Become the Film to Beat at the Oscars?
Hilary Duff becomes Sharon Tate for upcoming film: 'It was a true honor'
Hollywood manager who worked with Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson closes agency after accusations of sexual harassment
Our Favorite Movies with Black Women Leads You Can Stream Right Now
[LIMITED STOCK!] Related eBay Products