This film just can’t decide which genre it wishes to be in. Part science fiction, part apocalypse, part road movie and part comment on the armed forces, it is all held together by the unbelievable concentration of Cillian Murphy and Naomie Harris in the two lead roles.
There are weak spots and it is very grisly indeed. A woman speaking after the showing said: “I have never seen anything so violent”. Without thinking, I responded “Oh, I have”. I think she flinched.
Christopher Ecclestone plays a great good guy/bad guy. Like “Withnail and I”, the movie is about London but as seen from outside the city. Made in 2002, it still stands out, but we jaded viewers have become used to 3D and bigger effects in our post-apocalyse viewing.
The plot hangs on the end of the world, but mostly on the end of London as we inhabitants know it. A virus has turned most people into blood-drooling flesh-eating zombies. The few survivors of this watch each other for signs of the disease.
Danny Boyle always has iconoclastic ideas and the mix of these stimulates your thinking. The visual sense is as strong as the cohesive direction.
It’s stylish and it was good to see it on a big screen in a comfortable room on a Sunday afternoon – and free. It’s part of the truly enjoyable Museum of London free film series of movies about London. This loose theme links a set of very disparate films but the Museum team is to be congratulated for providing provocative viewing.
Next up is the 1981 film “Burning an Illusion” which is at the Museum of London in Docklands on Sunday, October 31st at 2pm . It’s the only film in this series I haven’t seen at all, so I will be there.