PUBLISHED: 17:42 06 August 2008 | UPDATED: 17:10 16 August 2010
WRITER/DIRECTOR Martin McDonagh s debut feature about a pair of Irish hitmen hiding out in Belgium is something of a hit-and-miss affair.
DVD Cert 18
WRITER/DIRECTOR Martin McDonagh's debut feature about a pair of Irish hitmen hiding out in Belgium is something of a hit-and-miss affair.
Professional killers Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) arrive in Bruges having accidentally shot a child while botching a hit on a priest they were assigned in London.
Ken, the calmer and more refined of the two, views the situation as a chance to wind down and do a bit of
His self-assured and volatile sidekick Ray, on the other hand, is more interested in scenery of a different kind and quickly gets together with a local girl named Chloe (Clemance Posey).
Things take a decidedly dark turn when Ken gets a call from their foul-mouthed boss Harry (Ralph Fiennes) requesting that he kill Ray for his previous cock up.
While the mood is generally grim there are several, often unexpected, bursts of mordant humour which lighten things nicely.
Farrell is suitably manic and enjoys an off-kilter chemistry with co-star Gleeson that is oddly reminiscent of that shared by Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Fiennes is also right on the money in one of the most down right flagitious roles of his career.
The film does have quite a lot going for it, but it is far too patchy, and rather than sparkling like a delicate glass of Trappist ale, it ends up having more in common with a pint of badly-poured Guinness - starting well but with a disappointingly flat
* In Bruges is released on DVD on Monday.