When a hit goes horribly wrong for a newbie trigger man Ray (Colin Farrell), he and his colleague Ken (Brendan Gleeson) are ordered by their mob boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) to pack their bags and head of too Bruges and lay low. Waiting for further instructions they have to blend in and play the part of typical tourists in Belgium. However the guilt and heartache of his first hit going horribly wrong, Ray has to deal with his actions.
After films like Oliver Stone’s 2004 Alexander and Michael Mann’s 2006 Miami Vice, honestly I thought Farrell's film career will never see the light of day again. Sad because I really thought he had a shot after an intense role of Joel Schumacher’ 2002 Phone booth that I honestly thought deserved more recognition. In Bruges is a film full of brilliantly witty dialogue with an effective combination of dark comedy, thriller and crime that create such a weirdly enjoyable melancholic atmosphere.
Throughout the duration of their stay in Bruges the film shows the two walking aimlessly around. Pondering about how they will past the time. Their journey around the city becomes a continuous running gag of insulting each other and bickering. Ken enjoys the world most preserved medieval town by becoming a tourist and blends in just fine. Ray feels otherwise and thinks it’s an extremely boring place and feels he has been marooned in a shithole. However being stuck in one of the world’s most unspoiled medieval town, full of snooty Canadians and bulky Americans and a drug fuelled fascist dwarf is undoubtedly going to be full of giggles. What I admire most about In Bruges is the emotional ammunition it has to make you cry with sadness and at the same time make you laugh out loud.
The more we adventure around Bruges with Ray and Ken the more we discover that Ray’s cracking jokes and being the world’s worst tourist is a front to what he is really hiding within. In Bruges is a fantastic slow burning crime drama with hints of humour which creates a great pace for moments of heartfelt sadness and humour. Even though Farrell's film career seemed to be on a hiatus, his performance in In Bruges is certainly a comeback film that pushed him back into the spotlight. In Bruges is not your typical shoot’em up film but rather an oddly moving and hilarious road trip to Bruges that turns into a story of a mournful epiphany and acceptance.