JCR Factor #2

Well here we are with a second edition of the John C. Reilly Factor — Thomas J’s latest character study. Find more like them here and here. Or just peruse the Features menu up top.

Last month we were talking about this and so now I’d like to switch out of that melodrama and move on to . . . well, I guess more melodrama. Melodrama upon the high seas. As always, spoilers ahoy!

John C. Reilly as Dale ‘Murph’ Murphy in Wolfgang Petersen’s The Perfect Storm

Role Type: Supporting

Genre: Adventure/drama

Character Profile: Good old ‘Murph’ is a fisherman with a strong work ethic, often spending long, long days on the open waters trying to bring home that “pay dirt.” He’s struggling to make ends meet, not unlike many a Gloucesterman, on the cusp of divorce while still trying to be around as much as possible for his son. Murph is headstrong and has a hard time adjusting when the crew of the Andrea Gail take on an extra hand, David ‘Sully’ Sullivan — a welder with a rather stand-offish personality and determination to do things his own way.

If you lose JCR, the film loses: firstly the tension between two of the Gail’s more interesting personalities — one brimming between Reilly’s Murph and William Fichtner’s Sully. These two men are at each other’s throats from the get-go and though the clashing doesn’t particularly boil down to much beyond your typical alpha-male antagonism, John C. Reilly makes his character so very believable. It wouldn’t be the same if another actor stepped into this predicament. Besides, the loss of the entire crew is made that much more painful once we’ve established Murph is very much a man trying to make good on his promises to his family back on shore. Reilly sells the tragedy with a soul-bruising sense of empathy for what the real life Murph might have felt in his last moments.

That’s what he said: “This is gonna be hard on my little boy. . .”

Rate the Performance (relative to his other work): 


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Photo credits: http://www.cineplex.com

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17 thoughts on “JCR Factor #2

    • Yes indeed! Love the guy. He can pretty much do anything he’s asked to do so I think he’ll make for a good new feature. Thrilled that you like it!

  1. You’re right, it’s a fine performance. It’s a shame it’s in quite possibly the most average film of all time. I remember emerging from the cinema shrugging my shoulders.

    • Eh, I quite like it. It’s definitely nothing that would ever garner awards but I put it slightly above average. There’s a tad too much melodrama going on but in the end most of these characters are extremely likable and the fact the entire crew was really lost at sea in reality is such a heartbreaker.

  2. Seen Gangs In New York yet Tom? 😉 The best JCR role I can think of though I haven’t seen him in a ton of films that weren’t comedies if I’m honest

    • No I still haven’t gotten to that either. I’ll be sure to add it to my Netflix queue though, that movie has been one I’ve been meaning to get to for a long time but I keep putting it on the back burner for some reason or other. Cuz if it’s not for JCR’s part in it, it’s most definitely for DDL.

    • Kevin Bacon just seems like that because he gets a shout-out in Guardians of the Galaxy. 😉 No, but seriously. The man is a versatile actor. I love them both. I also need to watch The Following. I think that’s the show with Bacon leading

    • Yes, I fully stand behind that. He is so good here and it’s a tough watch with his character being the way he is. The movie itself is pretty melodramatic and at times too sentimental, but it goes down pretty well in my book. I’m a fan.

      Thanks for checking this feature out James.

      • Maybe I’ll check it out one day, disaster films at sea aren’t really my thing though. No worries, I do love a bit of JCR! Don’t forget to watch Hard Eight if you get a chance

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