It’s a common complaint on political Twitter that each day feels like a decade in the Trump era, which is probably why it took us a few minutes to remember exactly what Clint Eastwood’s new film, The 15:17 to Paris was about, and when exactly the events depicted took place.
Let’s refresh your memory: Back in 2015, three Americans — two of them off-duty military personnel — helped prevent a massacre on a French train by subduing the machine gun-wielding assailant. In total, and thanks to their actions, only four people were injured, and the men were rightly hailed as heroes. Now, Eastwood’s gone old-school with his take on the events, and by that we mean that he recruited the men to star as themselves in their own biopic (much like Jackie Robinson or war hero Audie Murphy did back in the 1950s).
We’re actually pretty excited for this one.
So this is decently interesting! There’s a fun splash of recognizable actors (Judy Greer, Tony Hale, Jenna Fischer) blended here with the emerging talents of Spencer Stone, Alex Skarlatos, and Anthony Sadler, and we also really like how this isn’t just a United 93-esque retelling of the moment-by-moment minutiae aboard the train. These men have incredibly compelling life stories even outside of their heroism, so it’s nice to see that emphasized as well, which is something that previous true-to-life fetishism refuses to do (the propaganda film Act of Valor suffered immensely from a lack of character). Of course, late Eastwood is always a risky proposition — sometimes you get Sully, sometimes you get Hereafter — but for a fellow who’s blown a lot of hot air about how this generation is soft, it’s nice to see him proving himself wrong.
Here’s an official synopsis via Collider:
In the early evening of August 21, 2015, the world watched in stunned silence as the media reported a thwarted terrorist attack on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris—an attempt prevented by three courageous young Americans traveling through Europe. The film follows the course of the friends’ lives, from the struggles of childhood through finding their footing in life, to the series of unlikely events leading up to the attack. Throughout the harrowing ordeal, their friendship never wavers, making it their greatest weapon and allowing them to save the lives of the more than 500 passengers on board.
The 15:17 to Paris hits theaters on February 8.