in_bruges.jpg rating-4.0Perhaps the one flaw of In Bruges is that they sold it as a comedy. And, believe you me, this is not a movie for everyone. This is a dark comedy unto the limits of darkness.

If one knows the pedigree of writer/director Martin McDonagh, it all makes sense. Apparently, he has quite the history of bleak, strange, and very dark comedic stage plays. And though critics say this movie is not representative of his best work, there's definitely something here.

Rarely does one see such surreal and deadpan elements in such an overwhelmingly dark or dramatic setting. One really doesn't know what to think or feel about all the movie's events, but the train of strangeness and misfortune has a certain charm to it that will keep the less Pollyanna-ish amongst the viewers interested. Of course, it helps if you don't mind copious gore and vulgarity, either.

McDonagh pulls out all the stops to shock and awe his viewers, all while tying it up prettily with witty reparte. It's only helped by his excellent cast, all playing up to their greatest merits or strangest character traits.

Colin Farrell carries the movie well as the sullen, self-destructive lead and Brendan Gleeson, as always, gives the movie a heart.

I'm only too happy to sit through the strangeness again to see the layers of theatrical comedy and tragedy play out before me. Perhaps you will too, if you have the stomach for it.

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