15:17 TO PARIS
* * ½
(True story of American heroes)
Director Clint Eastwood had a fresh idea: Cast the actual American heroes as themselves. There's only one problem: They are not convincing actors.
Actually, there's more than one problem. While the trailers show their dramatic actions in stopping a terrorist on a train from Amsterdam to Paris, the scene is less than five minutes of the hour-and-a-half movie. The rest of the movie deals with the three friends’ childhood. They were mischievous kids in grammar school, ending up frequently in the principal's office and hanging out together playing war games. When they grow up, Spencer Stone joins the Air Force, determined to save lives, while Alek Skarlatos joins the National Guard and Anthony Sadler goes to college.
All three are looking for meaning to their lives. They meet together and go off to play tourists, as the movie turns into a travelogue featuring the trio enjoying the sites of Rome, Venice, Paris, Amsterdam and Germany.
Finally, it is 15:17, and they board the train for Paris. A mean looking guy starts shooting up the train. The three, plus one other foreigner who is always in the background, subdue the terrorist, with Stone leading the charge.
The movie ends with the guys being honored in Paris and back in America. Bravo to the true American heroes. Not so much praise for the movie.
Rated PG-13, with violence and a little profanity.