Wednesday, 24 July 2013

In Bruges (2008) - ★★★★½

Director: Martin McDonagh
Writer: Martin McDonagh
Stars: Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Ralph Fiennes, Clemence Poesy, Jordan Prentice

*Warning* Inappropriate language used in this review.

In Bruges was such a breath of fresh air! It's one of the funniest, intelligent, well made dark comedies of all time. Every once in a while I stumble upon a movie filled with high points, and that's exactly what happened with In Bruges. The humor and wit reminded me a bit of Father Ted (1995), but instead of priests they were hit-men. It's the classic 'grown-up partnered with man-child' routine, yet McDonagh managed to make it fresh and consistently funny. In Bruges was so darn entertaining that I literally watched it again the very next day.

Ken (Brendan Gleeson) and Ray (Colin Farrell) are a couple of hit-men with very opposite personalities. Their boss, Harry (Ralph Fiennes) orders them to wait in Bruges (it's in Belgium) for further instructions after Ray accidentally muddles up his first assassination. While Ken sees Bruges as a fairytale town full of culture and history, Ray absolutely hates it and complains about everything. "Ken, I grew up in Dublin. I love Dublin. If I grew up on a farm, and was retarded, Bruges might impress me but I didn't, so it doesn't." Things seem to be moving in a swimmingly hilarious fashion... until Ken is ordered to kill Ray. 

There's a fantastic natural chemistry between Farrell and Gleeson.
Let me just say, Brendan Gleeson is fucking hilarious! Everything about his performance was perfect. He'd have to be one of my personal favorite actors of all time, and this is arguably his greatest role. The scene where he's ordered to kill Ray was unforgettable, because the expression on his face was plastered with despair. I found he had the best comedic timing of the cast. I nearly died of laughter at the scene where Ken confronts Harry in the middle of a busy square. "Harry, let's face it. And I'm not being funny. I mean no disrespect, but you're a cunt. You're a cunt now, and you've always been a cunt. And the only thing that's going to change is that you're going to be an even bigger cunt. Maybe have some more cunt kids." As crass as that statement may be, it's one of the greatest insults in the history of cinema. For me, the funniest moment in the movie came when Ken was trying to convince Ray to come with him to touch the blood of Jesus Christ. When Ray asks if he has to, Ken says "Do you have to? Of course you don't have to! It's Jesus' fucking blood, isn't it? Of course you don't fucking have to! OF COURSE YOU DON'T FUCKING HAVE TO!" Brendan Gleeson should have at least been nominated for an Oscar. God he made me laugh so many times!

Colin Farrell gave a fantastic performance too! Yet to me, he was one of the weaker aspects of the movie. That goes to show how high-quality this film is. Here's Farrell, giving the greatest performance of his life, and he gets out-shined by Gleeson and the hilarious character Ken. Don't get me wrong, Ray was hilarious at times too! He set-up most of the funny scenes with Ken. It's not Farrell's fault that his character didn't interest me as much as the others, because he played his part really well. I guess I just wasn't always entertained by his shenanigans. I will say this though, his scenes with the dwarf are brilliant. There were a few side-splitting moments with Farrell. 

Ralph Fiennes was the second best thing in this movie for me! There's this one quote that I've known for ages that he said, but I never knew it was from In Bruges. "You're an inanimate fucking object!" He and Gleeson had a sparkling chemistry that made everything so exciting, even thrilling. I was just so impressed by his performance. He has certainly shed his gentleman image with his character Harry, who swears like a sailor and takes joy in killing.

One of Ralph Fiennes' most diverse, hilarious roles. 
I adore the music and cinematography. After seeing this film, Bruges is up there with the places I want to visit most in the world. God there were some beautiful scenes... I guess it showed how absurd this little story is when it's set in such a sleepy and stunning location. The music always brought the story's feeling back into the mix. Sometimes the images are so beautiful that you forget you're watching a semi-gangster drama. Then the somber music would start playing, and you'd remember exactly why Ken and Ray are in Bruges in the first place.

I don't think this is a perfect movie though, because some of the dialogue fell flat for me. There were a couple of times where the banter between Gleeson and Farrell wasn't very funny. It also ended on a tiny bit of a sour note for me. There was some really out there and crazy stuff in this movie, but the ending was a little too... silly I guess. I didn't particularly find it clever, whereas most people thought it was a hoot. That's just my personal opinion, everything else was a masterpiece.

Ken and Ray, wide-eyed after taking cocaine.
In Bruges really is one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. I think the performances are up there with the very best of comedy, and the dialogue is up there with the funniest in cinematic history. Like I said, I loved this film so much that I watched it twice in a row! I'd recommend this to anyone who loves a good laugh, and doesn't mind a bit of off-colored humor. Even though it's quite an edgy film, there's a lot of class here too. I'd go as far as to say that this is one of the Top 5 films of 2008.


  1. Man, I LOVE this movie!! Have you seen Seven Psychopaths? It's hard to believe, but I actually like it a tiny bit more. McDonagh is a genius!

    1. I didn't even know McDonagh did Seven Psychopaths! I haven't seen it yet, but now it's on the top of my 'to see' list :)