The 15:17 to Paris – Movie Review – Excruciatingly dull.

The 15:17 to Paris tells the true story of three American men who managed to prevent a terrorist massacre onboard a train, travelling from Amsterdam to Paris back in 2015.

Clint Eastwood has attempted to do something different from a casting standpoint with this film. The three heroes of the situation the film is based upon, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos were all cast to play themselves in the film. This is a risk that unfortunately did not pay off at all. These three men aren’t actors and it clearly shows. Their performances are extremely wooden and their line delivery is poor, it felt very amateur. At times it sounded like they were children who were just play acting, their delivery of the dialogue as well as the dialogue that the script provides didn’t sound organic or realistic whatsoever.

The dialogue isn’t the only weak aspect of the script, the whole thing is a mess. The structure of the film is scattered and lacks coherence. The story begins by showing Spencer, Anthony and Alek as children in school. I believe the purpose of this is to let the audience see how these three boys became friends, the problem is the child actors are bad as well, which means their chemistry feels forced and I couldn’t see why these three boys would become friends. The story then jumps ahead in time to show them in years of adolescence. Amongst all of this, tiny moments of the event on the train are spliced through out the transitions in time. There really was no benefit or purpose for doing this, it didn’t enhance the experience in anyway, it didn’t build any momentum, it just felt abrupt. Back to the topic of the dialogue, there’s some very on the nose lines of dialogue. Of course I can’t validate whether these things were actually said prior to these guys being involved in the train incident, but regardless of that those lines felt like typical uninspired film dialogue, that is just there to telegraph the events that will happen later on in the story just to force a sense of destiny.

It comes across like Clint Eastwood slept his way through making this film and only decided to wake up and focus, when it came to the final moments of the story where the terrorist incident occurs. Whilst the first act of the story was just about watchable, the second act leading into the third is not. We spend so much time following these men as they travel through Europe, It becomes so boring that I dosed off to sleep a little. The things we see them do may be accurate to what they did but it’s just not interesting in the slightest. The only praise I have is for how the train incident is shot, that’s the only time Eastwood becomes creative with his direction. It’s also the first time the film has a little energy but at an hour and twenty minutes in, it comes far too late for the film to be salvaged by it. The run time is shortly over an hour and a half, but it felt like two hours.

The 15:17 to Paris is a bland re-enactment of a heroic act by three men. It’s a massive shame because it does a major disservice to the act of heroism by Spencer, Anthony and Alek. The choice to cast the three men who thwarted the terrorist act, as themselves was a risk that failed. You can skip this one.


(1 Star Outof 5)


The 15:17 to Paris – Starring Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Judy Greer.

Directed by Clint Eastwood.

Now showing in U.K. Cinemas.

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