The Talented Mr Murphy

Completely by coincidence, I ended up watching two movies starring Cillian Murphy during the New Year’s holiday; hubby found a 2-for-1 sale for 28 Days Later and 28 Weeks Later, and I finally borrowed my sister’s Sunshine DVD after she kept going on and on about how it’s a much better movie than Duncan Jones’ Moon, which I really, really love. (Sorry sis, Moon is the better movie!) But it’s given me a new appreciation for Cillian Murphy. I’ve only seen him in Chris Nolan’s movies before, and I thought he was great as the villain in Batman Begins and the mark in Inception, but this is my first time seeing him carrying a movie as the lead character. And those eyes! How did I not notice them before?? My only excuse is there’s usually so many things going on at once in a Nolan movie, it’s hard to focus on a supporting character’s eyes. 

I’m a bigger fan of 28 Days Later compared to 28 Weeks Later. The latter movie feels to me like it’s trying too hard to shoehorn allegories about the US occupation of Iraq (the creation of a safe zone ala the Green Zone, how the military can sometimes be more dangerous and cruel than the bad guys they’re fighting, etc). I don’t mind allegories, but it feels a bit heavy-handed in this case. And the scary parts felt more gory and “ewwwww, that’s really disgusting!!” rather than scary. In contrast, when Cillian Murphy’s character woke up from his coma in 28 Days Later and started walking all over deserted London with no one else in sight, now that’s really scary. I’ve had nightmares similar to that.

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2 thoughts on “The Talented Mr Murphy

  1. I know why your sister thought “Sunshine” was better: she fell like a rock for the pretty-pretty visuals and the even-prettier score. But the film was nothing more than “The Three Stooges in Space”– really, how many bad choices and dumb mistakes can a team of best-of-the-supposed-best astronauts and scientists make…? “Moon,” on the other hand– yeah, I’m with you– is a quiet, old-fashioned sci-fi gem. (“I want to go home–!”– I cry every time I hear that line.) Just tossing this out there: Sam Rockwell was superb, but can you imagine Cillian in the part…? I can. Oh, man, the what-ifs….

    • OMG so many, many dumb choices, one of the main one being, if Cillian Murphy’s character is so important to the success of the mission (we’re told that he’s the only one besides the computer who knows how to deliver the payload), why oh why do the crew keep putting him in dangerous situations? Making him do the space-walk to repair the damage to the ship (the one that ended up killing the captain), taking him to the other Icarus when they already had 3 people going. If it were me, I would make sure this guy is safe and sound, away from any possible danger. I’d swaddle him in silk and feed him grape myself if I have to 🙂 And why did they need manual calculation to change the course of the ship anyway? Couldn’t the computer have done it, or at least double-check the work of the human?

      Rockwell is really great in Moon, but yup, I’m imagining Cillian there too, with his big, vulnerable eyes …..

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