Clint Eastwood’s new “American Hero” movie based on the true story, 15:17 to Paris, debuted in theaters this weekend, and may not be doing as well as it projected. The story is intriguing of course, as it features three American citizens, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlato, and Anthony Salder, two of which were in the military, stopping an attempted terrorist attack on a train headed to Paris from Amsterdam in 2015.
As the New Yorker pointed out, this movie has potential, however comes off in sort of a weird/avant garde way. Eastwood’s decision to cast the original men instead of real actors may play a large part in this. The plot seemed a little slow, starting from when the boys met each other in middle school, all the way through their time in the military, finally making its way to the juiciest part of the movie, the attack on the train.
The Ringer’s opinion on this movie is that “it stinks”, however I think considering the decision to use the real men reenacting their whole experience added a different element to the movie. It may have not been the best move, however knowing that these men are connected to the plot and story emotionally might make it stink less to those who know.
Before seeing the movie, I wasn’t aware that the actors in it are the real guys that the story is about. Because of this, I found myself criticizing the acting throughout the movie, only to learn afterwards that they weren’t actually actors. I think this made me appreciate the film more, and I wish I had known that they were the real guys before seeing the movie. I think this could have an effect on how people could view the movie. I think you’d have to see the movie knowing the backstory behind it and the actors to form an opinion on the decisions picked for the movie!