Military veterans re-enact act of heroism


Matteo Azari

AMC Randhurst presents poster for “The 15:17 to Paris.”

Ordinary people are often underestimated, but in the real-life story “The 15:17 to Paris,” they should not be. “The 15:17 to Paris” hits theaters February 9, and it’s something the regular movie-watcher should keep an eye out for. This movie tells the story of the three young men, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone and Anthony Sadler, all members of the U.S. military. While traveling through Europe, these courageous young men put a hold on their relaxing getaway to save lives. Through it all, their close friendship never wavers while hanging in the balance of life or death.

Unarmed, they all helped stop a terrorist attack on a train ride bound for Paris on August 21, 2015. The film starts by showing each boy experiencing the struggles of growing up, and then shows how these experiences molded them into men that were brave enough to go up against a terrorist. The background of each man as a child led all of them to choose a career in the U.S. military. This extraordinary movie follows the lives of men that thought they were ordinary but, in a moment, found the strength inside them to save 500 people unable to escape a fast-moving train.

This portrayal is especially interesting for a few reasons. One, it covers an event that was recent and that’s extremely relevant to issues in the world today, terrorism, but is also relevant in the bullying of the heroes in their youth. Another unique aspect of this film is that the people that actually experienced this event are playing themselves alongside high profile actors in Hollywood, including Jenna Fischer, Thomas Lennon and Judy Greer.

Based on the book written by the heroes themselves as well as American author Jeffrey E. Stern in 2016, this is not a film to be missed. “The 15:17 to Paris” shows not only the impact strong bonds of friendship can have, but also an incredible act of bravery that goes to show how powerful the past can be— and how that power could be strong enough to save thousands of lives.