Evening Times - - MOVIES -

IN his last two pic­tures, Amer­i­can Sniper and Sully: Mir­a­cle On The Hud­son, Os­car-win­ning hu­man­ist di­rec­tor Clint East­wood bril­liantly dis­tilled acts of valour and self-sac­ri­fice torn from news­pa­per head­lines.

The 15:17 To Paris, the drama­ti­sa­tion of a failed 2015 ter­ror­ist at­tack on board a train hurtling from Am­s­ter­dam to the French cap­i­tal, seems like a sim­i­larly snug fit.

In a dar­ing move de­signed to blur re­spect­ful re­con­struc­tion and Hol­ly­wood-glossed fic­tion, East­wood casts the real-life Amer­i­can he­roes – An­thony Sadler, Alek Skar­latos and Spencer Stone – in a chrono­log­i­cally frac­tured trav­el­ogue penned by first-time screen­writer Dorothy Blyskal.

This artis­tic gam­ble back­fires spec­tac­u­larly. The life­long friends ex­hibit al­most no charisma through the lens and their mono­tone, stac­cato de­liv­ery of clunky, jar­ring di­a­logue robs East­wood’s film of spon­tane­ity, nat­u­ral­ism or hu­mour.

The di­rec­tor is blinded by pa­tri­otic pride and, for the first time in a long, il­lus­tri­ous ca­reer, he goes off the rails.

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