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The 15:17 to Paris Movie Review

09 February 2018

Director Clint Eastwood (2nd R) poses with cast members (L-R) Jenna Fischer, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler at a premiere for "The 15:17 to Paris" in Burbank, California, US, February 5, 2018. One could argue that these notes are hit a little too hard and a little too on the nose, but they ultimately lend themselves to a crowd-pleasing and well worth it emotional climax.

"We were just mind-blown, and felt like it was a huge opportunity, as well as something very unique and that hasn't been done before", Stone told the Daily News.

"Three weeks before shooting, he's like 'Do you guys want to do it yourselves?' and we were like 'What?"

Eastwood, 87, was sure. "I was like, 'No, you're right". Once in, Stone handles disappointments impassively, while the most exciting thing that happens to Skarlatos is having his rucksack stolen in tense Afghanistan. The final 20 minutes aboard the train are as riveting as they are harrowing, slow and quick, brutal and awkward with plenty of grimace-invoking moments and plenty of blood.

His stars were naturals portraying themselves, re-creating the European jaunt they took while Stone and Skarlatos were on leave from their duties in the Air Force and Oregon National Guard, respectively. "This guy had an AK-47 and somewhere between 250 and 300 rounds of ammunition, pistols and knives". I guess this is what Eastwood believes to be a true American patriot - to be able to leer at women and then save them from bullets with their wide chests.

In his latest film, "The 15:17 to Paris", Clint Eastwood has taken his famously no-frills filmmaking further than ever before.

"When I saw the gunman, I just thought we were all going to die, and I just assumed (I was) getting up to go out in a blaze of glory", Stone said.

"We were all anxious to do our first scenes", says Stone, "but honestly after our first one with him, we relaxed. We weren't thinking about much except for the current situation at hand, and we just knew something had to be done".

All are, presumably, just honored to be in an Eastwood film, because they're not asked to do much more than be warm bodies with recognizable faces. Aug 21, 2015, in the early evening, there were media reports of a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train 9364 bound for Paris.

Mauger-Poliak said the film presents a "fictionalized" and "one-sided" portrayal of the incident to the public that could prejudice the case of El-Khazzani, who is Moroccan.

Sadler, Skarlatos and Stone are poorly served by Blyskal's lamentable script, which fails to give us any insight to the men's personalities or the depth of their fraternal bond.

"It wasn't traumatic at all", Sadler said.

In a daring move created to blur respectful reconstruction and Hollywood-glossed fiction, Eastwood casts the real-life heroes - Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos and Spencer Stone - in a chronologically fractured travelogue penned by first-time screenwriter Dorothy Blyskal. "Clint Eastwood gave us a lot of freedom on that".

The last time a major Hollywood film did this was back in 2012's war drama Act of Valor which featured real soldiers of an elite squad - and it was also a failed experiment. However, we can't get over the feeling that we are watching home movies of our friends' trip - a trip we weren't even on - jokes about selfie sticks and hangovers don't make it any easier. "But then he went above and beyond and actually put the confidence in us to keep pursuing it, so that's what we all individually plan to do".

The 15:17 to Paris Movie Review