Buried Credits, a column that deep dives into the IMDB pages of favorite actors, directors, and writers to find their lost, forgotten, or unknown film and TV credits, continues this week with works featuring Cillian Murphy.
Perrier’s Bounty (2009)
Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon
Written by Mark O’Rowe
One of the reasons for having a movie take place over twenty-four hours in a person’s life is to keep the action moving, eliminate lag time, and not have events burn out before someone has to fall asleep. When you’re dealing with a gangster movie, too, and not a day in the life of someone waking up and getting dressed, there’s really no excuse to pick a boring day, or feel like the film is somewhat stalling.
Perrier’s Bounty does, and if it’s not the scope of the film that’s to blame it’s the lack of investment the film breeds in what’s going on. Perrier’s Bounty isn’t a bad movie, whatever that means, but saying a gangster movie’s “not bad” isn’t really acceptable, given you can’t go a week without a new entry in the genre.
Michael (Murphy) owes Perrier (Brendan Gleeson) a grand and, according to his two pistachio chucking goons, he needs that money soon or two of Michael’s bones will pay the consequences (and digits don’t count as bones). Michael doesn’t have the money. He has an estranged father (Jim Broadbent) show up on his doorstep, with the news that he’s dying, and a neighbor, Brenda (Jodie Whittaker), who’s dealing with her cheating boyfriend breaking up with her, but no cash.
Matters escalate and we meet Perrier, a major disappointment who in no way reflects the hype or competency required for his reputation. Gleeson doesn’t have a problem playing mean but the most unhinged and instantaneous Perrier gets is when he shoots two dogs in the head in an “oh yeah, what a man I am now” move. Meanwhile Michael should be the easiest catch but they keep losing him. He walks into a room, outnumbered, and walks out holding them up against the wall with a gun. Situations can flip but the way they flip in this movie is blasé. Liam Cunningham’s the Mutt was pretty sharp, as the guy Michael tries to get a loan from, but fizzles out as soon as he joins forces with Perrier, becoming as ineffective as the rest of this movie’s antagonists. One inside joke has Perrier and his men kill Clifford, played by Brendan Gleeson’s real life son, Domhnall Gleeson, when Michael uses him as a human shield, but that’s more a piece of trivia than anything else.
The movie’s worst offense is its narrator, voiced by the overqualified Gabriel Byrne. The film never says who the narrator is but a pointed last line (and quick IMDB check) will confirm his identity. I guess he’s supposed to speak for the viewer, pushing for clichés (wouldn’t it be nice if Michael and Brenda got together?) that are already obvious, so you’re basically waiting more for the already obvious plot points to be realized. There are long breaks when the narrator doesn’t speak but enough is enough.
Verdict: Better Left Buried
When you can’t get excited about Cillian Murphy’s character, who wears the same blue hoodie the entire picture and at least gets to punch Brenda’s ex without breaking a sweat, you know this is a weak movie. When you compare it to Cillian Murphy’s work as gangster, Thomas Shelby, on Peaky Blinders, this movie is only a blip in the careers of a cast that’s collectively top notch.
Check back tomorrow as we close off the week with a family between losing options.