Director Clint Eastwood’s real-life thriller The 15:17 to Paris
REAL LIFE DRAMA Friday, Sky Premiere HD, 12.40pm & 8pm
CLINT EASTWOOD IS on a roll. Well into the second half of his eighties, he shows no sign of slowing down. And the evidence from his recent films is that it is tales of real-life heroism that are keeping his creative juices flowing.
In 2014, American Sniper saw him train his sights on US Navy
Seal Chris Kyle, the most lethal sniper in US military history. Two years later, Sully recreated airline pilot Chesley ‘Sully’ Sullenberger’s famous Hudson River emergency landing. Now Eastwood celebrates another episode of courage and coolness – the thwarting of a terrorist attack by a trio of American passengers on board a train heading from Amsterdam to Paris on 21 August 2015.
What is different this time, however, is his choice of actors. Remarkably, he has got the young men in question to play themselves - as do several of the other people involved in the drama. It is a fascinating gambit, but whether Eastwood and his untried cast pull it off is up to you.
Truth be told, much of the film is conspicuously dull, with the story zigzagging back and forth between the exciting episode on the train and humdrum scenes from the men’s earlier lives, including their friendship in California, military service for two of them, and the
European backpacking trip that put them in the right place at the right time.
No one would claim that Alex Sarkalos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone are great shakes as actors. But when it comes to their (and the film’s) big moment, their awkward ordinariness serves to bring their out-of-the-ordinary actions into sharper
relief. 2018,15, 94min
ALEX, ANTHONY AND SPENCER WERE ABOUT TO DERAIL ATERRORIST PLOT