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In Bruges: Movie Review from My Netflix Queue

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This just in: COLIN FARREL IS STILL ALIVE!

WHICH IS APPARENTLY SHOCKING ENOUGH FOR ALL CAPS!

There, I’m done. I’m just a little surprised. You see, I thought Colin Farrel was taking one of those extended celebrity leaves for “exhaustion.” You know, the kind where he’s so exhausted that he has to spend a few years in a five-star palace in Arizona until he no longer pees Guinness and sweats crystal meth.

But then he shows up in a very decent little film, In Bruges. This is a movie you probably saw listed on the marquee at your theater and said to yourself, “In Brooges? In Broosh? In… oh hell, I’ll just go see Spiderman 3 instead.”

For those of you as geographically challenged as I, Bruges (soft “g”, silent “s”) is a city in Belgium. Now you can impress your friends at your next cocktail party. In the film, Colin Farrel plays part of a European hitman duo sent to Bruges to hide out after a botched hit. I won’t spoil the plot but suffice it to say that Farrel’s boss, played by the unctuous Ralph Fiennes, has other plans in mind for the two than just a holiday in Bruges.

What’s good about In Bruges? It’s not a clunky, overblown script. There’s some great dialogue. There are moments of subtle, intelligent humor. There are moments of intense heartache. There is a midget.

What’s bad about In Bruges? The biggest problem is that this film doesn’t know what it wants to be. A dark comedy? A soft thriller? A tale of despair? It doesn’t do justice to any of the three, which isn’t to say that it wasn’t enjoyable to watch. Even Colin Farrel, for all of his twitchy undercurrent of nerves/heroin hunger (allegedly), managed to turn in a touching performance.

My only other beef with the film was that watching the lovely Ralph Fiennes play a cockney thug was rather like seeing the Queen wearing sweat pants and scarfing down a bag of Cheetos. It just didn’t wash.

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