15:17 to Paris

That Clint Eastwood has a lot of nerve! First of all, he depicts some Christians as good people, not hypocrites. Next he depicts former U.S. servicemen as decent men, not crazed killers. But most of all, in an act sure to upset Hollywood, he has cast the young men who actually stopped a terrorist attack on a French train, to depict his three heroic leads. Amateurs, one and all... AND they do a good job!

Using the book by Anthony Sadler, which relates events as they transpired, plus flashbacks into the school years of our three intrepid pals, scriptwriter Dorothy Blyskal takes us through those school years (yup, there is bullying) interspersed by numerous trips to the principal's office for mild misbehavior. Nevertheless the two single mothers are summoned to a parent/teacher conference.

Here is part of Eastwood's cast:
  • Spencer Stone: Spencer shows us how a tough guy deals with setbacks...and he has plenty of them! But as he tells his friend, he feels that somehow, sometime, he will be catapulted into an important event and he wants to be prepared.
  • Alek Skarlatos: Alek is eventually taken from his mother because of his pranks and raised by his father. He hasn't heard much good about Paris so he is reluctant to leave his German girlfriend. 
  • Anthony Sadler is a cocky, confident early addition to this trio. Problem is, he has to follow a third path.
  • Judy Greer ("Archer") Joyce is told that her son Spencer has ADD because he isn't interested in his school work. She says, "So you want me to medicate him to make your job easier!"
  • Jenna Fischer ("The Office") Heidi resents a teacher interpreting her son's harmless rebellion as the result of single parenting. (So did I.)
We see that things were rarely easy for our young men but they kept on keeping on and maintained their friendship via Skype during college, military tours in Afghanistan and eventually a trip to Europe. After all, who knows when they will get another chance!

This is rated PG-13, but I think it is because of the blood. (One passenger is gravely wounded on that train.) There might have been some mild profanity in the medic training class Spencer attends, but nothing that stood out. And Spencer actually lights a cigarette while on a tour boat in Amsterdam (...gasp...) but these are decent young men and Eastwood isn't shy about letting us see that.

More power to ya, Mister E.
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Here is the trailer:
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