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.
When Spencer Stone appeared as a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live (Sept 2015), he was awarded a 2016 Chevy Camaro Convertible for his bravery. That same car is featured in the opening scene of this film. See more »
When the three heroes are 12-year-olds in middle school, the movie says it's taking place in 2005. Cut to when they've enlisted, presumably in 2014 or 2015, and a scene shows them watching a real Cal-Tenn college football game. One guy screams "Come on Marshawn!" and they discuss how Cal RB Marshawn Lynch should get the ball more.
Marshawn Lynch played his last college game for Cal in 2006. See more »
My name is Anthony Sadler. You're probably wondering why a brother like me is hanging out with these two crackers. But trust me, they're my two closest friends. Let me introduce you. This is Alek Skarlatos, the robot. He's a strong guy. He'll always have your back whenever you're in trouble. And this is Spencer Stone. You don't have to worry about him having your back in trouble because I'm sure he'll find it first. Seems like the three of us have been gettin' each other...
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There's a scene during the credits, showing real footage of the trio in a parade in Sacramento. Texts on screen tell us that they were all awarded medals. See more »
I have to confess I didn't research this film to any great extent before I sat down to watch it. However, the two things I did know - mainly courtesy of all marketing - was that it was based on the true story of three men who foil a terrorist attack on a train and that it was directed by Clint Eastwood. Both seemed like equally good reasons to watch the film. And - technically - both of those statements are correct. However, I guess because the promotional material seemed to focus so much on the 'terrorist attack' that I expected something more like 'Under Siege 2' or 'The Commuter' than what I got.
The film starts off with the three Americans as young boys and shows us how they meet. First of all I wasn't that impressed with the acting ability of the boys and was quite pleased when this segment ended. Then we get our first glimpse of what's to come, i.e. something bad happening on a busy commuter train in Europe. And then we're back to the boys again. Only now they're young men and we see what they're doing once they've left education. Only we mainly just focus on one of the three. The other two seem to get relegated into secondary characters. Cue another flash-forward to the terrifying events on the train and we get back to the men travelling round Europe. Then the bit on the train happens. Then the film ends.
Now, you may think I'm being quite cynical and scathing towards the film, but I did actually enjoy it. I just thought it was going to be something it wasn't. Once the child-actors are out of the way the adults take over and they're all decent enough heroes who you find yourself able to root for. Clint Eastwood's direction is nothing special, but it's functional approach works well with the subject matter, i.e. overly-stylish camerawork and effects would seem well over the top and out of place in this film.
It's not a bad film, but I think any audience needs to know that what they're sitting down for is some sort of drama about regular guys (who then happen to get caught up in a terrorist attack). If you go in expecting 'Die Hard on a train' then you're going to leave thoroughly disappointed. It's a slow, character-driven piece that is deliberately underwhelming in order to show how real life terrorist attacks differ to the Hollywood representation. If you're in the mood for something slow, serious and with meaning then you should enjoy this.
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