When the doll from American Sniper is more realistic and a better actor than anything in THE 15:17 TO PARIS, you know you have a problem. This movie is the worst film Clint Eastwood has ever made. Period. It doesn’t even feel like he was behind the director chair on this one, is it possible someone just slapped his name on it and he agreed as some part of back end money deal to help distribute the film? He wasn’t even on autopilot, he just didn’t care. You would think that after the disaster that the film Act of Valor was that they wouldn’t make another film depicting real life heroes doing something amazing with the actual same people that lived it. They aren’t actors. They are real people.
The real heroes re-filming what they had to go through has got to be awkward as fuck for them. And me watching them redoing what they went through was awkward for me. Because even though it was them saving those people on the train like they did, it didn’t feel real. Real actors recreating it would’ve felt more real. The trailer is completely misleading to, it hinted at these three guys having an extraordinary life that led them to that extraordinary fate. Bullshit. They got into very little trouble as kids, one of them had trouble finding his place in the Army so he got into a field of work that would save people’s lives. And then they get together and backpack across Europe. And that is about it. It is a great story and I am very thankful and proud for what they did to stop a potential tragedy, but that hardly qualifies it to be a whole 95 minute movie about it. It could’ve been a fantastic 15 minute short with real actors just recreating the train sequence.
But the movie is mainly them just shooting the shit, unrealistically, and backpacking across Europe. It is extremely boring and the acting is atrocious. In fact, my screening was mostly full, and about 6 people walked out halfway through the film and never came back. I was this close to walking out too, but I always finish a film and was kind of interested in how they stopped a tragedy on the train. The acting is so atrocious that even the real actors in the film, such as Jenna Fischer from The Office and Judy Greer are terrible in this as well, especially Jenna Fisher, who is usually at least half way decent. Everything feels like it was shot in one take and Clint Eastwood just thought he felt lucky and didn’t have to shoot anymore. The only scene in the entire film that feels like it was handled with care was the train saving climax. That was the only interesting part of the film.
Spencer Stone, who the film really focuses on, seemed uncomfortable playing himself, which is actually funny. He either constantly forgot his lines and tried to remember them right before Eastwood yelled, “Action!” Or Clint Eastwood told him to just improve everything. BOTH VERY AWFUL IDEAS. I knew the movie would be a problem with the awkward as fuck opening with a weird narration that they never ever come back to. This all in all is not only unnecessary filmmaking, but lazy and boring filmmaking. Clint Eastwood is so much better than this. Just watch Unforgiven. Or Million Dollar Baby. Those films prove he is one of the best directors out there. But this. I don’t know how this came together, but I can tell you a movie about this disaster of a film would be more enjoyable and entertaining than this plain disaster.
This beats Winchester as worst film of the year so far. In fact, I’ll go ahead and say at least I was somewhat entertained by Dakota Johnson’s boobs in Fifty Shades Freed to even say that that was a little better of a movie than this. I don’t think I have ever been as bored in a film. Maybe Australia. Or that Beyond Borders film with Angelina Jolie and Clive Owen. I’d have to watch all of them to declare one of them my most boring film of all time, but then I’d have to go through pure hell again, so I think not.
So yeah. This is Clint Eastwood’s worst film. No question. Name a film he directed, and I bet you $100 I can find more redeeming qualities in it than I can with this film. Even Space Cowboys. Even Blood Work. I can’t believe he was dragged into this. This is a Lifetime movie all away and should’ve been directed by a kid just out of film school trying to get some kind of recognition. Even bad recognition. Eastwood is an established a filmmaker. But maybe he is starting to really show his age. In any case, “a man has got to know his limitations.”