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A guide to….Cillian Murphy

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December 24, 2012 by thedavidryan

Cillian Murphy

Today’s “A guide to….” features acclaimed Irish actor Cillian Murphy. Whilst remaining largely under the celebrity radar, it is undeniable that Murphy has steadily been reeling off some impressive work since his film debut in 1997. Boasting impressive roles and performances with some of the most esteemed directing and acting talent in the business, the man from Cork can also boast to being the only villain to appear in all three Batman movies in the hugely successful Dark Knight trilogy. “A guide to….James McAvoy” kicked off our first entry last time so, without further adieu let’s get stuck in and have a beginners guide to….Cillian Murphy!

Red Eye (2005)

After attending her grandmother’s funeral in Texas, hotel manager Lisa Reisert (Rachel McAdams) takes a red-eye flight home to Florida. However, while delayed at the airport she meets fellow Florida bound traveller Jackson Rippner (Cillian Murphy) and the two strike up an immediate rapport. Red EyeBoth travellers are ‘coincidently’ sat together on the plane and Lisa’s world gets turned upside down as Murphy’s character reveals he is a terrorist who, with McAdams’ help, intends to assassinate a US government official that is due to stay at McAdams’ hotel the next day.

Murphy delivers a genuinely frightening performance as the terrorist hell bent on bringing down the US government official by any means necessary. Red Eye features a great back and forth struggle between the two and McAdams is in great form as the petrified hotel manager who desperately tries to escape Murphy’s clutches and warn the hotel before it’s too late. Cillian Murphy is well known for his dynamic and chilling performances and his turn as the viscous Jackson Rippner in Red Eye ranks among his best.

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Full of thrills, spills and jump out of your skin moments, Red Eye offers a variety of massively startling moments. However, without doubt the most dramatic scene is when Lisa unceremoniously stabs a pen in Murphy’s throat as she attempts to flee the crazed terrorist, setting up an exhilarating climax.

Batman Begins (2005)

Christopher Nolan’s multi million dollar earning Dark Knight franchise began in the massively acclaimed Batman Begins. While originally being touted to take on the role of Bruce Wayne himself, Cillian Murphy was handpicked by Nolan to play the part of Dr. Jonathan Crane aka Scarecrow, a sadistic psychopharmacologist who works at Arkham Asylum where he develops fear-inducing toxins to use on his mentally deranged patients.

Batman BeginsMurphy is exceptional as the cool, calm and collected Doctor that is methodically contaminating the Gotham water supply with the help of fellow Bat baddie Ra’s al Ghul. Murphy’s display set the bar for the modern day Batman villain and despite tremendous later displays from Heath Ledger and Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy’s original bad guy performance is credited by many fans as being the finest of the three.

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One of Murphy’s best bits in the role occurs as he ambushes Batman in a Gotham apartment whilst in the alarming Scarecrow mask. Murphy delivers a scary display as he unleashes crippling toxins on the unsuspecting Batman before lighting the caped crusader on fire in an enthralling scene that leaves Bruce Wayne fighting for his life.

Red Lights (2012)

Red Lights is the story of physicist Tom Buckley (Murphy) and university psychology professor Margaret Matheson (Sigourney Weaver), who both specialise in debunking paranormal phenomena from dubious sources. Their lives are turned upside down however once they look to debunk renowned psychic Robert De Niro, who is fresh out of retirement afterRed Lights his greatest critic mysteriously died thirty years prior. While the third act of this potentially promising 2012 release is extremely ludicrous, including more plot holes than the recent Mayan prophecy, Red Lights features Murphy in scintillating form as a man engrossed in his unwavering quest to dispel the supernatural ‘powers’ of De Niro’s twisted psychic.

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Despite its ropey conclusion, Red Lights is full of jolts, surprises and revelations. Murphy is at his stunning best when he reaches the end of his tether trying to expose De Niro for the charlatan that he is. The climax is a genuinely gripping and intense final standoff between the two enemies in what is an otherwise deeply flawed movie.

28 Days Later (2002)

28 Days Later is the story of civilisations collapse after the unintentional release of an extremely infectious rage virus and focuses on the struggle of four survivors that are now trying to stay alive in a zombie riddled post apocalyptic world. Both a critical and commercial success, 28 Days Later is accredited with reinvigorating the zombie genre and thrust Cillian Murphy into mainstream movie success.

28 Days LaterMurphy plays Jim, a bicycle courier who wakes up from a coma in a London hospital to find the hospital ransacked and abandoned. Once outside he discovers the city is completely deserted with signs of disaster everywhere. Murphy plays the naive and unaware Jim superbly, taking the audience on his journey of exploration and coming to terms with how his world has changed forever in a remarkable twenty eight days.

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Without doubt the most heart wrenching moment of the movie is when Jim returns to his parents home, only to discover his parents have taken their own lives by overdosing together on their marital bed. The tender scene is all the more emotional as Jim finds a heartbreaking suicide note that will choke up even the toughest of movie goers.

There we have it, some of Cillian Murphy’s finest work to date and some highly recommendable titles to check out over this festive period featuring the extremely talented Irish actor.

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8 thoughts on “A guide to….Cillian Murphy

  1. JoshuaKaitlyn says:

    Hi! Nice blog! you left out ‘In Time’ (2011) from you Cillian Murphy list. His character was the most interesting one in the film

  2. Novroz says:

    Ow wow…those aren’t his best acts…trust me! 😉
    You really have to check his non-Hollywood/blockbuster Movies..those are where his talent shines.

    If you have time, do check this out> http://bokunosekai.wordpress.com/2011/05/11/top-5-cillian-murphys-movies/ and maybe you can also watch those movies 😉

    Anyway…I really like the way you praised my favorite actor…your words are brilliant!

  3. cinenemablog says:

    What about Sunshine? That’s a rather awesome movie (some people say that the whole ending is s**t but I love that ending!).

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