A movie that relinquishes its lead roles for the actual people that it is based on definitely sounds interesting. Unfortunately, the bad acting as a result is just one of the issues with The 15:17 to Paris.
The climatic scene. While the climatic scene in the movie may only occupy about five minutes of its runtime, it is easily the best five minutes of the movie, even if it was somewhat underwhelming. The cinematography during this scene was done really well, perfectly capturing the intensity of the situation. In fact, I was sweating during this scene due to just how intense it was.
The acting. I can see how many may find the movie to feel more “authentic” because the main actors are actually portraying themselves, but they are not actors and it shows. The acting is just cringy. Particularly the main lead, Spencer Stone, who felt more like a robot during certain scenes. The kid actors present during the first third or so of the movie were also pretty bad, and they were “real” actors. The acting job all around was just really subpar.
The buildup. 90% of the movie is spent building up the three main characters (more so one than the other three), but it just does not pay off by the end. The backstory was not particularly interesting for any of the characters and their stories felt so overly dramatized that the “authentic” feeling the movie was going for was mostly lost by the time the climatic moment rolled up. The buildup towards the end was simply not worth it.
Cannot say I expected the acting to be at all good, but it was actually worse than I thought it would be. The trailers tend to focus on the climatic moment of the movie, with very little dialogue from any of the leads. That may be why I went in with higher expectations. The 15:17 to Paris is just not a good movie.