In recent weeks, Clint Eastwood’s new film 15:17 to Paris was released into theatres. Based off of a true story, 15:17 to Paris is centered around the events that unfolded on August 21st, 2015 on Thalys train #9364 bound for Paris. Moreover, the film depicts the heroic efforts of [Americans] U.S. Air Force Airman First Class Spencer Stone, Oregon National Guardsman, Alek Skarlatos. As well as Anthony Sadler, who thwarted ISIS militant Ayoub El Khazzani’s plot to kill “infidels” on Thalys train #9364 where over 500 passengers were onboard. According to reports, El Khazzani possessed an AK-47, a 9mm Luger pistol, over 300 rounds of ammunition, a box-cutter, and a bottle of gasoline.
Throughout the film, Eastwood utilizes a chronological flashback method-so to speak-where the plot jumps back-and-forth between what took place on the train and the three Americans’ [and lifelong friends’] childhood. Furthermore, the storyline primarily focuses on Stone and Skarlato’s lifelong affinity and sense of duty towards joining the military-despite both having a troubled childhood.
Interestingly enough, the film is actually portrayed by Stone, Skarlato, and Sadler-thus giving a rare sense of authenticity. Although the film severely lacks the acting gravitas that is embodied by professional actors, the film itself does an excellent job in delivering its overall message: that no matter your nationality, race, or religion, each and every one of us has an innate responsibility to act in the face of extreme danger if it means saving the lives of innocents. I commend these three men on their courage and heroism and undoubtedly consider 15:17 to Paris to be a true testament towards mankind’s’ compassion for one another in the face of evil.