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"In Bruges" ** 1/2

February 10, 2008

The latest offering at the Cinema Sunday Club featured the 2008 Sundance Film Festival opener directed and written by playwright Martin McDonagh (who received an 2006 Oscar for his live action short, "Six Shooter") and starring Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell. I've read comparisons to "Pulp Fiction" in this tale of 2 hitmen sent to chill out in Bruges (Belgium) by their mob boss (an interesting turn by Ralph Fiennes) after a hit gone bad in Dublin by one of the principals. The comparison I supposed is due to its equal mix of laughs and blood and its effort to make these killers likeable despite their lurid occupation. Where PF succeeds, however, this one fails, as I felt constantly manuplated by the plot structure and the coincidences were so numerous that I found myself rolling my eyes more often than not. The nice cinematography will have you thinking Bruges as your next European vacation spot . That, as well as an interesting soundtrack make this one a near miss.