In Bruges on DVD

In Bruges on DVD. Martin McDonagh’s directorial debut is a dark comedy. It’s also a buddy film, a gangster movie, a surreal fairy tale, and an intense look at a man struggling with his inner demons. OK, it’s pretty complex. But it is also one of the most original vehicles I’ve seen this year. However, it also requires audiences to be patient because it starts out very slowly and only in the last section does the action reach a crescendo. In the meantime, viewers will bond with low-level London hit men, Ken and Ray, who are sent to the medieval Belgian city of Bruges by their excitable boss to hide out after an assignment gone badly. Ken (Brendan Gleeson) falls in love with the architecture and history of the town, whereas Ray (Colin Farrell) is horribly bored and tries to find diversion by fighting with multiple tourists, befriending an American dwarf actor in town shooting a European surreal fantasy film, and seducing one of the locals, a woman with a few secrets of her own. The lack of entertainment also gives Ray too much time to think and sample the fine Belgian beers. He eventually turns maudlin as he worries about heaven, hell, and purgatory and his life as a murderer. It’s only after their boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) decides what’s next in store for them that the movie really takes off. The last half-hour is very entertaining with several nice twists and subtle lines of dialog.

The package of bonus features is quite good as well, with a videolog through the Bruges’ canals, a typical short on the making of the film and a gag reel. The film has a lot of bad language (more than one profanity per minute) and the crew spliced together all the cursing and swearing into one hilarious compilation. The imdb FAQ for the movie lists several other similar dark comedies that fans of In Bruges might also like.

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