So a couple weeks ago I posted about The Brothers Bloom on the eve of seeing Rian Johnson’s new film Looper. It’s deja vu time, because this weekend I’m jonesing to see Seven Psychopaths because of Martin McDonagh’s fantastic and criminally underseen In Bruges. According to imdb.com, it only reached a couple hundred theatres at its peak, and earned less than 8 million at the box office back in 2008. Travesty, says I.
In Bruges is a darkly comedic story about a pair of hitmen (Colin Ferrell, Brendan Gleeson) sent to lay low in the touristy Bruges, Belgium by their boss (Ralph Fines) while he sorts out the disaster that was their last job in London. Ferrell gives the best performance I’ve ever seen out of him a guilt-ridden gangster bored to tears by the idyllic town. Gleeson is strong too, as his conflicted partner trying to make the best of the situation. And Fines is fun in a scenery-chewing role as their boss with anger management issues frustrated by these hitmen who can’t even lay low properly.
The film is full of memorable scenes, colorful supporting characters, and seesawing unpredictably between dark material and funny moments. You’ll find yourself really caring about what happens to these two hitmen in over their heads. It’s one of my favorites of 2008.