If You Aren't Confused, You Don't Know What's Going On
Silmarwen | Huntington Beach, CA United States | 04/22/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Francis 'Frankie' McGuire (Brad Pitt) is one of the most wanted IRA terrorists in Belfast, Ireland. He is wanted for the murder of several police officers and army soldiers, among others. But now his group is raising the stakes. They are no longer going to waste their time with guns - they are going for missiles. So Frankie heads to New York City under the alias Rory Devaney. An Irish judge sets him up to live with the O'Meara family, headed by Sergaent Tom O'Meara (Harrison Ford), one of New York's finest. As Frankie works to overhaul a boat and deal with the slimy arms dealer, Billy Burke (Treat Williams), he finds himself growing attached to the O'Meara family and wishing that he had the opportunity to lead such a life. When Billy Burke sends men to the O'Meara house looking for his money, Frankie knows that it is time to go before he ends up harming the family who made him a part of their home for a short time. But once Tom O'Meara discovers Frankie's real identity, he isn't about to let him go...I will be the first to admit that I didn't understand everything that was going on in the plot, but Brad Pitt's character said that "If you aren't confused [about the situation in Ireland], you don't know what is going on," and I found that to be pretty true for the whole story line. In fact, it was more of a slice of life and time passing than a story with an actual beginning and end. Aside from the plot, the movie really shines with the superb acting in the film. I truly cared for these characters, even though one of them was a terrorist shown killing several men. Harrison Ford was excellent as a cop who had to live with slightly tarnished honor to cover for his friend and he did a fine job portraying his character's inner struggle as he tried to decide what to do with Frankie. Brad Pitt was gorgeous, as usual, and I thought that his Irish accent was quite charming. Of course, I don't really know what a real Irish accent sounds like, but when Brad spoke in a soft, melodic ripple of sound, it convinced me. The supporting characters were also great, led by Margaret Colin, who played Sheila O'Meara, Harrison Ford's wife and his 'daughters' including Julia Stiles as Bridget, a snotty, always on the phone teenager who refused to admit she had a crush on Frankie, Ashley Carin as Morgan, who fell head over heels for Frankie and the charming Kelly Singer as Annie, who is the youngest and had the most interaction with the main characters. One of the best things about the film was the music, composed by James Homer. It was just beautiful and had a wonderful Irish feel to it to help draw you in. There is also a heartbreakingly beautiful song written and performed by Melissa Etheridge during the closing credits. I have to admit that the ending wasn't what I wanted it to be, but there really was no way to end this movie in a way that made it a happy "American" ending. As the movie ends, Frankie reminds us that it is an Irish story, not an American one - only American stories always have happy endings. All in all, the movie may be a bit muddled and perhaps could have been improved and cleared up, but I still think that this is a movie worth watching - especially if you are a fan of either of the leads."
Take it from one who knows......
Tim Wright | 05/15/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Right....I come from Northern Ireland, and I'll tell you right now most people writing reviews here (apart from a couple, you know who you are) don't have a clue what they're talking about.This isn't a great movie but it definitly isn't a bad one either, its flawed but worth watching.
And you aren't going to understand "The Troubles" by watching a movie, you need to do some serious reading, its complex.And....Brad Pitts accent is fine, probably the best I've heard from an American actor in a mainstream movie."
I am Oirish and I thought it was quite good....
Tim Wright | Menlo Park, CA, USA | 07/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"OK, so I'll admit that Brad Pitt's accent is not perfect and there's no way any IRA man would be that pretty (imagine if Brad Pitt looked like Gerry Adams - I doubt he would get as many roles). But the accent is actually not that bad, and Belfast people do actually say "foks sake" quite frequently.
I agree there are some dubious moments in the plot and that the action scenes are a little far fetched, but hey, this is Hollywood, and there is enough of a "gritty realism" feel imparted elsewhere to distract the viewer from these minor inconsistencies.
Harrison Ford plays the same character he played in Patriot Games / Air Force 1 / The Fugitive, which is fine by me since I enjoyed all those movies and I am a big Harrison fan.
I didn't find the plot partucularly confusing (it's pretty straightforward really). And although I certainly wouldn't venture to say that the script delivers chapter and verse on the hellishly complicated political situation in N. Ireland, it does at least go some way to explaining the mechanisms (personal revenge, indoctrination) that drive the cycle of violence there.
And the bittersweet ending has the desired effect.
Why the problem with brad's accent?
Tim Wright | 01/09/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't understand certain reviewers' problems with Brad Pitt's accent in this movie. He sounded very much like Gerry Adams sounds, or any reporter you hear on the BBC who is from Northern Ireland, or even Liam Neeson. It's too bad that many Americans think that every Irish person sounds like the Lucky Charms leprechaun or the Irish Spring soap guy (now those are some BAD accents). There are many different accents in Ireland, just as there are different accents in the U.S.!"