Clint Eastwood’s latest movie, “The 15:17 to Paris,” depicts real American heroism: the true story of three American friends who took down a terrorist on a train from Amsterdam to Paris in 2015.
But liberal film reviewers are horrified by the film, apparently—claiming that it doesn’t make the gun-slinging, murderous terrorist sympathetic and complex enough as a character.
The National Post complains, “15:17 to Paris overly simplifies the attack and its aftermath. The terrorist (Ray Corasani) snarls and wears sneakers, but there’s little more to him.”
Slate also fumed, “The sense of wheelspinning only underlines the movie’s failure to make its antagonist more than a cartoon scowl with a Kalashnikov.”
The Daily Beast, too, took note at how the terrorist was being presented in the film, writing: “As for the villain in question, Eastwood primarily films his hands, sneakers, arms, and back, all as a means of making him some sort of faceless existential threat — a symbolic vehicle for Stone’s ‘greater purpose.’”
East Bay Express complained that too much time was focused on the heroes, complaining, “Did the terrorist also play with weapons as a kid? We never find out – he’s presented as a generic adversary.”
The New Yorker also, apparently, wanted a deeper understanding of the terrorist, asking, “Was this not an ideal opportunity to trace the paths—whether of grievance, paranoia, faith, or wrath—that lead a young man to dreams of slaughter?”
But the New Yorker, on the flip side, had more than enough of the heroes—comparing them to school shooters. The review claimed that with some of the heroes’ backstory, “You could cut it out of this movie and paste it, unchanged, into another one, about a nice suburban kid who grows up and carries out a mass shooting.”
The 12:15 to Paris—which stars the actual American heroes who were aboard the train—opened on February 8.