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Ray and Ken, two professional killers, have to hide away after a job that did not go as planned. They are being sent to Belgian Bruge, ordered to lie low and wait for further instructions by their boss Harry. As they are there anyway, they start the tourist programme, and while one of them (Ken) certainly has more appreciation for the place than the other, they roam about like an old married couple on their 45th vacation trip together. Go to the pub or yet to another museum? Ray meeting a nice girl and a weird film crew helps to get him more excited about the place, but the idea of having a nice and quiet time in Belgium is terminated when Harry comes around himself to sort things out and clean up his company records.

If 10 years from today I look at the films of 2008 and need to pick a single one that I want to see again: this is the one with very little doubt. This may well have been the most perfect film of 2008. The charcters are brilliantly written, excellently played, with a combination of ruthlessness, whiningness, comic grumpiness, and true despair to be found in every single character, if in various degrees. The town of Bruges provides the perfect setting for an experience of alienation, this must be the place where a London pro-hitman wants to be the least. But as all small towns, Bruges has a way of dragging you in and becoming part of the neighborhood, and bringing out any bit of humanity residue that still may be find inside you. Individual highlights include: Harry’s rants while chasing his employees, the barfight with the “American” which results in a sincerely felt apology when realising that it’s actually a Canadian. Need to see again right away! Direction by Martin McDormagh (who now has a 2 out of 2 record of bloody brilliance) is absolutely flawless and stunningly controlled with such a young guy.
Update: just watched “6 Shooter” again, also with Brendan Gleeson in the lead (aside an absolutely psychotic Rúaidhrí Conroy). Traveling on the train after seeing his dead wife in the hospitak, he meets a crazy young Irish fella, and a couple of mourning parents. Everybody is so desperate that the Irish guy has a blast mocking all of them – and even though the mourning husband feels a bit of sympathy with the Irish Crazy bloke, the day still does not turn out well form him.

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  1. […] description of “This film was made for me in particular”. I am a big fan of McDonagh’s since “In Bruges”, the genre of “foul mouthed violent comedic thriller” that he excels in is what makes me smile. […]

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