Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The 15:17 to Paris

The 15:17 to Paris
Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone, Judy Greer, Jenna Fischer and Ray Corasani

Rated: PG-13 on appeal for bloody images, violence, some suggestive material, drug references and language.
Reviewed by: Chris  
Release date: February 9, 2018 Released by: Warner Brothers

Director Clint Eastwood's latest film is a re-telling of the true story of three heroic Americans who thwarted a 2015 terrorist attack.  The surprising twist is that the three men portray themselves on screen.

On August 25, 2015 three friends ( Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler) board a train traveling from  Amsterdam to Paris for an impromptu holiday.  Soon after departure, a Moroccan man (Ayoub El Khazzani) goes into the restroom and emerges armed with box cutters and assault rifles.

A couple of passengers try to overpower him, but he shoots one of them in the neck and runs through the train car determined to kill.  Stone, Skarlatos and Sadler subdue him with punches and by wrestling him to the floor.  Stone taking the lead.

Once the man is tied up, Stone tends to the injured passenger by putting pressure on his neck wound until the paramedics arrive.
Eastwood shows snippets of the train attack throughout the film and leaves the full story until the end.  The guys meet as youngsters attending a Christian school together.  They have some behavior problems, summoned to the Principal's office numerous times for talking back and not paying attention in class,

Although the friends stay in touch, they go their separate ways after high school graduation.Stone, 23, becomes an Airman First Class, Skarlatos, 22, is an Army National Guard Specialist stationed in Afghanistan and Sadler, 23, is a California State University senior. 

Stone is the more natural of the three.  He has the largest role and an easy way about him.  Skarlatos and Sadler appear uncomfortable on screen.  The guys gave a television interview after the film was finished and said that they were given a script to follow,  but were told by Eastwood that they could change their own dialogue to make it more comfortable. If so, then why did their performances seem so stiff?

Their real life story is very interesting. The guys are nice, good looking, clean cut men, but I believe I would have found the film more compelling if three good actors played their parts.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Gerry Matt Claudette Jennifer Audralee Nina  Avg. 
The 15:17 to Paris  B   C+      C         B            B- 

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