In ‘The 15:17 to Paris’ real heroes portray their story

February 22, 2018


The 15:17 to Paris – Two of five stars

Managing Editor | mrb056@latech.edu


“The 15:17 to Paris” hit theaters Feb. 9 and to most people’s dismay, did not live up to the excitement that is somewhat expected in every American hero tale.


The film tells the true story of three American men who managed to take down a terrorist on a Paris -bound train. To most, this sounds like a dramatic, action-packed film but was in fact the exact opposite. While the idea of the movie was met with good intentions, director Clint Eastwood made several mistakes in his attempt of retelling the men’s story.


Probably the biggest problem with the film is that the three main characters, Alek Skarlatos, Anthony Sadler and Spencer Stone, played themselves in the movie. I will admit, I was impressed by this idea at first, but after seeing the film one can see it was not thought out well. These men are not professional actors and it really showed as they lacked in expression and creating a more dramatic element.


With that being said, for complete amateurs at acting, they did work well enough to keep the audience’s attention. While they do not live up to famous celebrity actors and their work, they managed to do a decent job.


There were also many great actors within the film like Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer, who played the mothers of Skarlatos and Stone. These two actresses were excellent in their roles and brought a little more professionality to the film. Their two characters caused the most audible laughs from the audience with their overprotective mother personalities, but were also easily lovable.


“The 15:17 to Paris” definitely disappointed in its action factor. When going to see a movie that includes people from the armed forces and terrorists, you expect a lot to be going on action-wise.


The only interesting part of the entire movie is the last ten minutes when the guys are actually taking down the terrorist. Other than that, it is a slow-moving background story about how the three men became friends and how that led them to this trip to Europe that ended differently than expected. During these flashbacks to their childhood and early adult life, there were small pieces of action and humor but they were taken over by the overall blandness of the film. The less interesting parts of the story were long and drawn out, and the actual events leading up to the train only happen toward the very end.


However, “The 15:17 to Paris” did have a few good elements that helped it along the way. The main actors weren’t the greatest, but they did have a sense of humor and a strong relationship among them that helps viewers stay interested. Also, the few action scenes throughout the movie were all very well filmed as they gave each view point from each main character.


While I was not truly impressed by the movie, it was a decent watch. It told an interesting story of three guys who grew up together, created this strong friendship and used that bond to save several people’s lives on the train that day in August 2005. Fortunately, they will be remembered for their brave actions and not their acting skills.


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