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In Bruges Film Review (2008)

Updated: Apr 29, 2023

Shoot first. Sightsee later.


★★★★


By Jay Storey


This film was actually filmed in Bruges (it's in Belgium). This was on at Film Society at my uni on a 'mystery film night' and I'm very happy that this was the film they chose to surprise us with. In Bruges is about two hitmen Ray and Ken (played by Colin Farrell and Brendon Gleeson respectively) who've been sent to Bruges (it's in Belgium) by their boss, Harry, (Ralph Fiennes) when all of a sudden things get messy. The dynamic between Farrell and Gleeson is absolutely hilarious and even though I've seen it a few times now, I still wheeze with laughter at almost every joke, however politically incorrect they may be. The action is vulgar but not too over the top, and works most effectively compared to McDonagh's other films. Watching it a 2nd or even 3rd time you notice little hints of foreshadowing for the final act. In terms of genre, I think the title of 'Black Comedy' can get a bit vague sometimes as I feel that the story of Ray's character is a tragedy. While in McDonagh's other films, there's usually hope for the protagonist In Bruges doesn't afford the same fate for Ray.


McDonagh's films never cease to amaze me with the hilarious satirical comedy mixed with drama and tense action shootouts, like at the end of this film which is one of the best I've ever seen. The cinematography is overall dull but works when combined with the main themes and tone of the film, which applies to the music too. The only flaw I can really see in this film is that the ability to rewatch is quite difficult as I was noticing myself predicting jokes and recalling where the story was going to go. Overall though, a very pleasant and enjoyable film from Martin McDonagh.




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