Di­rec­tor Clint East­wood’s real-life thriller The 15:17 to Paris

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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


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