Truth Revolt, by Mark Tapson, Feb. 15, 2018:
TruthRevolt friend Christian Toto over at HollywoodInToto.com has helpfully rounded up a sample of movie reviews of openly conservative director Clint Eastwood’s new terrorism drama The 15:17 to Paris. The film is based on the true-life Islamist attack on a Paris-bound train in 2015 that was quickly thwarted by three American heroes who happened to be passengers on that train.
“The 87-year-old icon drove liberal critics batty with his 2014 smash ‘American Sniper,’” Toto began. “Heroism? Sacrifice? All-American values? It’s like garlic to some film critics. They’d rather swoon at films depicting the U.S. Military in an unsavory fashion.”
Indeed they would, because the vast majority of film critics are Progressives whose kneejerk anti-Americanism kicks in with every movie that dares display a patriotic streak — such as Eastwood’s newest film, which stars the actual American friends who were on that train as the movie’s leads.
“A few critics hated how Eastwood didn’t give enough screen time to the terrorist in question, Ayoub El-Khazzani,” wrote Toto, such as this reviewer from The National Post:
15:17 to Paris overly simplifies the attack and its aftermath. The terrorist (Ray Corasani) snarls and wears sneakers, but there’s little more to him.
The movie’s not about him. The movie is about the three American heroes. And to the outrage of leftist reviewers, Eastwood apparently wasn’t inclined to depict a sympathetic terrorist. This is a Clint Eastwood movie, not a Rolling Stone magazine cover.
“Slate also has the sads about the terrorist’s lack of definition,” Toto noted, quoting the critic:
And the sense of wheelspinning only underlines the movie’s failure to make its antagonist more than a cartoon scowl with a Kalashnikov. The geese in Sully were more well-rounded characters.
“Slant Magazine joins the chorus, complaining about the terrorist’s abbreviated screen time”:
One misses the prismatic structure of the 15:17 to Paris book, which fuses multiple points of view—including El-Khazzani’s—and which is reduced by Dorothy Blyskal’s script to cut-and-pasted bromides.
As for the villain in question, Eastwood primarily films his hands, sneakers, arms, and back, all as a means of making him some sort of faceless existential threat—a symbolic vehicle for [one of the Americans’] “greater purpose.” Mostly, though, it’s just another example of The 15:17 to Paris’ regrettable blankness.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette gripes that the film is too patriotic:
But at this point, there’s a certain repellent hubris about [Eastwood’s] patriotic formula: Make America grate again, on the rest of the world, in paint-by-numbers (red, white and blue), which happen to be the same as the Tricouleur — not that Mr. Eastwood makes any use or reference to that.
The Irish Times complains:
There’s a great deal of God-bothering throughout… [t]hose seeking geopolitics or any hint that US foreign policy helped forge Isis will be sorely disappointed.
Reviewer Rex Reed (he’s still alive?) strangely whines, “We never really learn much about the three leads or their take on terrorism…”
“Here’s a wild guess,” answers Toto, “they’re against it?”
The Daily Mail sneers at the main characters’ Christian faith and the “simplistic” conservative perspective on good and evil:
In that sacred American way, incidentally, their Christianity is not incompatible with an obsession with firearms….The narrative throbs with Eastwood’s conviction — shared, as we know, by President Trump — that the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. Better still, a good guy with a gun and a bible.
All these reviews are symptomatic of the left’s refusal to draw a line between good and evil, and to recognize which side of that line America is on.
I remember when the movie Black Hawk Down came out, about the failed Clinton-era military mission in Mogadishu that resulted in the downing of two American helicopters and an insane firefight with an armed mob of Somalis. Critics complained that the bad guys depicted in it were not fully developed as characters — as if everybody in a mob needs a backstory. Movie critics know that’s impossible and doesn’t make sense story-wise, but they simply hate it when Americans are depicted as heroes and enemies who happen to be non-white are not “nuanced” enough.
Let’s prove all of Clint Eastwood’s critics irrelevant by making The 15:17 to Paris another pro-American blockbuster.