Three Americans discover a terrorist plot aboard a train headed to Paris.
The true story of these heroes is riveting. Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler, and Spencer Stone demonstrated great bravery aboard that train. It took immense courage to confront that gunman head on and save everyone.
That being said Clint Eastwood took a risk and went out on a limb by casting the real life heroes in the film. I hate to say it, but the performances and script is what held this film back. When I say Eastwood took a risk, he’s nearly 90, I’m sure it’s no sweat off his back and I’m sure he thought this would’ve come out a lot better but until the last 20 minutes this movie plodded along.
Eastwood decided to take you into the heroes lives as kids, and it didn’t feel like anything real. I didn’t believe the three kids were friends their friendship didn’t bloom organically they met and became best friends. They didn’t speak like kids speak to each other either. The dialogue felt very forced to make you feel the bond between them, but it wasn’t there.
You get into the backpacking trip through Europe and it’s just as forced. You could tell right away that these guys already lived through all this and were trying to put it on the screen. I can’t critique them too much, these guys aren’t actors, they are real life heroes.
The best part about this movie by far is the last twenty minutes on the train. Eastwood does a great job capturing the visceral nature of the close quarters fight on the train. It was hectic and the stakes felt high at that moment.
The 15:17 to Paris is a story worth checking out in your own time. I can’t recommend you see this in theaters. It’s a slow hour and a half and you’ll get more from a documentary or google search than this film.