By MOLLY HOLT
“The 15:17 to Paris” is a 94-minute story of three heroic, ordinary men that could have been told in five minutes.
There is no reason that this should have been made into a feature length film, and there is no reason it should have been made into a film this awful.
“The 15:17 to Paris” is based on the real life heroic actions of three lifelong friends, Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, on their European vacation. They managed to take down a terrorist and stop him from killing all of the passengers on the 15:17 train to Paris.
These men are certainly brave. They are certainly heroes. However, they are certainly not actors.
Despite this fact, the movie features the real-life heroes as themselves, and it is quite clear they have never taken an acting class in their lives. In fact, it seemed as though no one, aside from the sassy female military instructor, understood how to act.
It is sad when a minor character that is in one scene of the movie is the real star of the film. It was painful to listen to the cast of this movie and struggle to understand them. They slurred most of their lines, somehow managing to ruin the already terrible dialogue they were given – if they were given dialogue, that is.
This movie seemed to be completely improvised. It felt like three high schoolers got together to lm a video project for class.
It may have been possible to get past the bad acting and poor script writing if there was an actual plot to the movie.
The main moment is the big train scene. Everything leading up to this moment was pointless. There is also a very forced, half explored, religious theme throughout the movie.
Yes, it is important to establish character background and the bond the characters share, and it may have been interesting to see how these three men ended
up on this particular train if there was a story there to tell.
But there wasn’t.
There wasn’t some miraculous, crazy event that put them on this train, but the movie kept making it seem like there would be.
The friends end up going on a backpacking trip through Europe, and for a greater portion of the movie the audience is forced to watch three people’s awkward and boring vacation video.
There is no purpose to this sequence. The audience has to sit through Stone and Sadler sightseeing through all of Italy. At least the audience got a nice tour of the country.
The real star of their trip though was Sadler’s selfie stick. The amount of times they mentioned and showed the selfie stick was ridiculous. It seemed as though this selfie stick was going to play a pivotal role later when taking down the terrorist.
Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
Stone and Sadler then meet up with Skarlatos in Amsterdam for another incredibly pointless sequence which takes place in a club this time. Our heroes are
shown getting drunk and dancing on poles, and it remains unclear why this is in the movie.
Did they need this to really drive home the fact that these were completely average guys? Did they want the audience to know that Stone has a solid career ahead of him as a male dancer? Who knows? The answer was never made clear.
The friends awaken the next morning completely hungover. They seem to have woken up late. It felt as though they were going to miss their train and have to take a new one which would be the 15:17 to Paris, giving a purpose to the incredibly dizzying and awkward club scene.
There is no such purpose though. They do not miss their train. They debate taking another train for a while, but ultimately decide to take the same train they have been scheduled to take the entire vacation.
The heroes then get on the 15:17 to Paris, and the audience is ready for the moment they have been waiting for.
There is overdramatic ominous music in the background as the terrorist is seen washing his face in the bathroom.
The men very bravely take down the terrorist, and the situation is resolved very quickly. The big climactic scene is the shortest scene of the movie, with a large portion of it is spent zoomed in on a passenger’s extremely bloody wound.
The men are then honored as heroes and each feel as though they have completed the purpose God has planned for them.
This movie tells the story of three incredibly brave men who risked their lives to save complete strangers. It is a story worth telling, but a movie was not the way to tell that story.
There just is not enough story to create a compelling and intriguing film. It is a boring story made worse by a terrible script and bad acting. This is a movie that will be appreciated by those involved in the story, and that is limited to the lead actors of this film.