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Film Review: Strange ‘15:17 to Paris’ Can’t Make the Connection

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CHICAGO – What’s up with Clint Eastwood, and why in the Sam Hill did he attach himself as director to this film? Also, why was the decision made to use the actual rescuers as the actors in a true terrorist train incident? Nothing adds up in the strangely disconnected “15:17 to Paris.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 2.0/5.0
Rating: 2.0/5.0

Before the train heroics, there are three major acts of this film. First, a childhood backstory for the three eventual heroes, which is about as awkward as it sounds, and contains odd castings of B-level TV “names.” Second, the real dudes take over the story of their lives, and it illogically focuses on Spencer Stone and his journey through the Air Force. Third, and the gosh darn weirdest part, is the travelogue that two of the dudes take before they meet up with the third hero in Amsterdam, and board the ill-fated train together. The length and detail of two non-actors trying to prop up scenes, while being tourists, is pure torture. Oh why Clint, did you torture me?

Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos (eventually playing themselves) are childhood friends who can’t help but get into mischief at their Christian school. Spencer and Alek’s mothers (Judy Greer and Jenna Fischer) think their antics are proper schoolboy hijinks, but Principal Akers (Thomas Lennon) has another viewpoint. Eventually, Alek moves away, but the three keep in touch through young adulthood.

Spencer Stone wants to be a military specialist, but keeps failing the various sections of the testing. He eventually ends up in survival training, and has a hiatus that he wants to share with his friends. He calls Anthony to join him for a European vacation, one where they will eventually hook up with Alek in Amsterdam. Their next destination is Paris, after a short train ride.

”15:17 to Paris” opens everywhere on February 9th. Featuring Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Thomas Lennon, Jenna Fischer and Judy Greer. Screenplay adapted by Dorothy Blyskal. Directed by Clint Eastwood. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “15:17 to Paris”

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In His Life: Spencer Stone (front) and Anthony Sadler Take the ’15:17 to Paris’
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “15:17 to Paris”

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