I was on a tight schedule, given that no Thursday night screenings of “The 15:17 to Paris” or “Peter Rabbit” were given, which is why I’m late with these reviews. But I went to them as soon as I could.
“The 15:17 to Paris,” the latest entry from the brilliant Clint Eastwood, is noteworthy for casting the real-life heroes-Spencer Stone, Anthony Sanders, and Alek Skarlatos-who prevented the 2015 Thalys train attack from becoming a bigger calamity. As interesting as it sounds, only the third act has that kind of Eastwood charm.
The first act made me want to say really bad things. It involves irritating performances from otherwise talented people like Jenna Fisher (talking like a robot) and Judy Greer as mothers of two of the three boys; PJ Byrne as a teacher; Thomas Lennon as a Christian school principal; and Tony Hale as a gym teacher. The kind of bad things I would say about them would threaten to take away my kindness, and I hate when that happens.
The second act is mediocre as Spencer and Alek both started joining the army, but in different corps.
The third act works when Spencer and Anthony have a visit in Rome, which reminds me of my travels there, and when they reunite with Alek in Germany and then on the 15:17 to Paris, where they become heroes. That’s when Eastwood spark begins to kick in, but at the last minute.
Again, Im almost started to loathe the movie for its first act, and for losing the pure Eastwood magic I’ve recently seen in “American Sniper” and “Sully.” But things started to get a little better, preventing me from being a jerk. But I still can’t give it a good review.
Eastwood has made better, excellent movies, and there are excellent soldier movies, too. “The 15:17 to Paris” isn’t one of them.