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.