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The 15:17 To Paris

by Noe Kamelamela
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Friday Feb 9, 2018
'The 15:17 To Paris'
'The 15:17 To Paris'  

"The 15:17 to Paris" should be a crowd pleaser. The true stories of three real American heroes (who are played by themselves) may tug at the heartstrings of many Americans who may feel slighted by our portrayal as villains overseas. In particular, the three men in question come off as very worldly and caring in a nearly two-dimensional movie that shifts timelines oddly back and forth. The movie nearly falls into documentary territory, with occasional assists from talented actors such as Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer. Although unevenly paced, the film is an uplifting series of vignettes which tend to focus on the positive.

Instead of dwelling primarily on the incident referenced by the title -- the foiling of a planned shooting on the 15:17 Amsterdam to Paris Thalys train on August 21, 2015 -- the majority of the action is the early lives of the three young men as they intersect and maintain connections with each other. Clint Eastwood's direction of these three non-actors must have been quite an effort. The writing is not the issue; rather, the delivery of lines comes off wooden and half-hearted when one or more of the three share a screen or narration. They certainly look and move like themselves; the action is absolutely what happened; but their voices lack conviction and decisiveness, which is at odds with how these men have lived their lives.

All three boys become men and are frequently confronted with the fact that they have an ordinary or low amount of focus and motivation. While both failures and successes are apparent in the movie, there is very little dwelling on despair or triumph. A slightly more emotional through line could have really bolstered the plot, which meanders quite a bit. In some ways, the choice to speed through difficult or amazing circumstances with little more than a voiceover or a dynamic shot of an actor's face means that the film wraps up quickly in a little over an hour and a half.

By the time the confrontation occurs between our heroes and the lesser-known single villain of the piece, a viewer may expect all three of our heroes to fail in some terrible way. These men are not angels, and they are not in good shape to help. That they were able to assist, through dint of learning and maintaining martial skills and their bonds of trust as friends, is in many ways a miracle worthy of the continued use of the Prayer of St. Francis. Although much of the movie is corny, it is very sincere.

The 15:17 to Paris

On Aug. 21, 2015, the world watches in stunned silence as the media reports a thwarted terrorist attack on a train that's bound for Paris -- an attempt prevented by three young Americans traveling together through Europe. The heroic and courageous actions of Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone help to save the lives of more than 500 passengers on board.


Runtime :: 94 mins
Release Date :: Feb 09, 2018
Language :: Silent
Country :: United States


Himself :: Spencer Stone
Himself :: Alek Skarlatos
Himself :: Anthony Sadler
Joyce :: Judy Greer
Heidi :: Jenna Fischer
Principal Michael Akers :: Thomas Lennon
Alek (11-14) :: Bryce Gheisar
Anthony (11-14) :: Paul-Mikél Williams
Spencer (11-14) :: William Jennings
Ayoub :: Ray Corasani
Mr. Henry :: P.J. Byrne
Coach Murray :: Tony Hale


Director :: Clint Eastwood
Screenwriter :: Dorothy Blyskal
Producer :: Clint Eastwood
Producer :: Tim Moore
Producer :: Kristina Rivera
Producer :: Jessica Meier
Executive Producer :: Bruce Berman
Cinematographer :: Tom Stern
Film Editor :: Blu Murray
Original Music :: Christian Jacob
Production Design :: Kevin Ishioka
Supervising Art Direction :: Julien Pougnier
Set Decoration :: Ron Reiss
Costume Designer :: Deborah Hopper
Casting :: Geoffrey Miclat

Noe Kamelamela is a reader who reads everything and a writer who writes
very little.


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