The 15:17 to Paris
Starring Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Jenna Fischer, Judy Greer
Remember the good ole days when Oscar winning director Clint Eastwood made movies with real actors? The 15:17 to Paris is nothing more than a gimmick gone horribly wrong due to Eastwood casting real life heroes, also known as non-actors. It’s the worst acting you will see on screen this year. Pretty bad when a person can’t play themselves in a role; Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos never resemble real friends or convince the audience they are having authentic conversations. What they do talk about on their banal tour through Europe is uninteresting. Everything leads up to their news worthy, dramatic ten minutes of heroism; a visualization of the story everyone has already read in the papers or heard on the news.
As a child Spencer Stone had difficulty concentrating in school, when he entered the military he was disqualified from the specialty division he originally applied for. Spencer and childhood friend Skarlatos would both end up doing jobs in the military that they didn’t enjoy. The two plan a backpacking trip to Europe with civilian friend Anthony Sadler that ends with a train ride from Amsterdam to Paris. Spencer speaks about destiny throughout a trip filled with drinking, partying and sightseeing. Their date with destiny happens when a terrorist pulls out a gun and over 300 rounds of ammunition with every intent of a massacre.
Eastwood infamously known for being a one take director has delivered a complete cinematic disaster, easily the worst and laziest film of his career.
The non-actors portraying themselves say a lot of words. Words that have no meaning or authority behind them. The script (if you can call it that) is based on a book the three wrote after the event that made them a popular figures on talk shows and in conservative circles. Eastwood understands his newfound conservative audience base, injecting love of God, country and war. The first half, of the shortest Eastwood film ever, is tolerable because actors like Fischer (The Office) and Greer (The Descendants) give the “guys” something to play off. Yet once the plot moves to Europe and the backstory is behind us, the three men performing alternate versions of themselves, completely sinking the movie.
Like his previous film Sully, the entire film is written around an event that lasted only a few minutes. However, the figure of Captain Chesley Sullenberger was a unique individual, brought to life by an Oscar winning actor. The young men in this film haven’t the faintest clue how to “act natural,” which appears to be the only real coaching they received. Eastwood infamously known for being a one-take director has delivered a complete cinematic disaster, easily the worst and laziest film of his career. It’s a sixty-minute tour of Europe, that no one wants to endure, as these guys bar-hop and sight-see. The best moment in the entire movie is stock footage of French President François Hollande awarding medals to each of the heroes.
Very difficult to make a good movie with people who don’t know how to act.