review by Bobby Blakey
Throughout his impressive career Eddie Murphy has created some iconic characters, big laughs and some great performances. Over the last few years we haven’t gotten all the much from Murphy which is a shame, but his latest film Mr. Church has been getting some critical praise and a return form. Could this be the film that gets Murphy back in the spotlight where he belongs or could it just be all hype?
Mr. Church tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook – Henry Joseph Church. What begins as a six-month arrangement instead spans fifteen years, and creates a family bond that lasts forever. This is the kind of movie that I really love that allows the characters and performances carry the film as opposed to flashy effects and clever plot twists. Sure there are some twists here and there in relation to the truth of the characters coming out, but nothing that changes the way you are viewing the movie itself. Murphy gives easily the best performance of his career that offers up a brilliant performance filled with depth and emotion without ever showing all that much. He is a very silent type of character here that uses his actions and expressions to say more than any words could. That doesn’t mean he has nothing to say and in fact is pretty impactful on that note as well.
At his side is young actress Britt Robertson who offers up just as much depth to her role and able to stand right alongside Murphy. These two have great chemistry which is pivotal for this film to be a success. As the story progresses it showcases a shift in their relationship similar to that of real life you feel like you took this journey with them as it should be. One thing I love is when a story uses ng to help drive a story. When handled properly it has not only a great impact, but offers up a beautiful visual. This film isn’t all in on that aspect, but offers up just enough of it to keep it moving and plays a pivotal role in their connection and growth.
In the end this is a great overall film that offers up excellent performances and moving story that will no doubt pull at your heart strings. Murphy has returned in full force and I hope this is a sign of things to come from him. There is more to this film than you may think, but it keeps itself grounded in reality which makes it more relatable and a pure joy to watch despite it being a bit sad at times.