Title – The 15:17 to Paris (2018)
Director – Clint Eastwood (American Sniper)
Cast – Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer, Tony Hale
Plot – The true story of three American best friends Spencer, Alek and Anthony and their act of bravery that stopped a potentially bloody terrorist attack on a French train in 2015.
“My God is bigger than your statistics”
Review by Eddie on 01/08/2018
During the time I spent watching The 15:17 to Paris, my brain was trying to come to grips with the fact that this is a film made by the one and only Clint Eastwood.
How could the man responsible for Million Dollar Baby, Mystic River, Unforgiven, Gran Torino , Changeling and even to a lesser extent films like Sully and A Perfect World be the man that directed this?
So bad is Paris that’s hard to even conjure up the right words to describe its ineptitude as a feature film and it’s hard to begin to even imagine how a screen legend like Eastwood thought that this re-telling of a real life terrorist incident on the French railway in 2015 was a good idea.
To be honest, despite the act of bravery that this terrorist act brought forward in the form of American friends Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone stopping an armed gunman from enacting a likely bloody act of carnage, the story of this at the time world renowned incident wasn’t exactly crying out for a feature length experience, which at the very core, is a large part of why Paris is such a non-event as a viewing exercise.
With the actual key incident at the heart of Paris over and done with in a few, largely thrill-free minutes, a large chunk of screen time is set aside by Eastwood to establish these three friends to provide background to their lauded act, but with downright atrocious script work by Dorothy Blyskal (honestly Paris features one of the worst scripts for a big-budget film in recent memory) and Eastwood’s lack of emotion or engagement to the material makes this 90 minute film feel like a torturous and laborious nightmare.
Making matters even worse is the fact that bewilderingly Eastwood cast the three real life heroes to play themselves and these non-professional actors are about as good as you’d expect them to be (e.g.; terrible) meaning that as our heroes go about their thrilling Europe holidays in the lead up to their heroic showdown, we are treated to some student film like acting skills, that when combined with Blyskal’s trite dialogue, make for something spectacular in its awfulness.
How anyone involved in the making of this film couldn’t of seen the train wreck happening before their very eyes is a question worth asking but at the end of the day, blame must sadly lay at the feet of Mr. Eastwood himself.
Final Say –
The 15:17 to Paris is a failure of epic proportions. Quite possibly the worst film of Eastwood’s 60 plus years involved in the industry, this is a feature without a redeemable quality and is saved from 0 star humiliation purely by the fact one feels sorry for the real life heroes who had to be a part of it.
½ a jammed AK-47 out of 5