People love seeing Bill Murray, even in the worst of films. He has a way of elevating trash by simply existing in his zen-like Murray space. That said, he phones it in from time to time. Admittedly, it can be hard to tell when Murray is phoning it in and when he's just being so Murray he transcends his own existence. His signature droll dissatisfaction, as exemplified in films like Rushmore and Lost in Translation, has led to a pervading sense that, from time to time, Murray would rather be in the bathtub or listening to records than getting paid to act. Is Bill Murray lazy acting, or does his character not care?
Bill Murray giving up in movies isn’t new; as you’ll see his unfortunate habit bleeds into some of his iconic roles, and goes back almost 20 years, leading audiences to wonder whether Murray even wanted the role in the first place.
Some of the worst Bill Murray scenes happen when he’s acting around people he really doesn't like. In Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, for instance, Murray seems like he'd rather be choking on his own vomit than acting. As it turns out, he has a vendetta against McG, the film's director. When McG accused Murray of harming him on set, Murray denied it.
Though Murray has a tendency to wear his spite on his sleeve in big studio productions, even small indie films, which he seems so fond of doing, have moments of total non-engagement by the actor. Keep reading to find out which movies Bill Murray totally checked out of, and if you can think of a particular scene where Murray phoned it in tell us in the comments.
You're Not The Only One Who Hated The Second Half Of 'Stripes'
The first half of Stripes is one of the funniest films ever made. The second half devolves into mind-numbling stupid Cold War rhetoric and, even worse, bad exposition. You can actually see the unnecessary script limitations binding Murray's unhinged comic genius.
All of this is especially bizarre given that, apparently, almost all of Murray's lines were improvised. According to director Ivan Reitman, Murray showed up on set three days after filming began. "We were hoping he'd show up," Reitman recalls. The director also admitted the script "wasn't very good."
Bill Murray Couldn't Even Pretend To Be Excited About 'St. Vincent'
Bill Murray doesn't seem like the kind of guy who likes working with kids, so why he decided to be in a movie in which his character hangs out with a kid all day is hard to understand. In some scenes, it seems like Murray is actively willing himself to have a cardiac event.
Still, the movie did well and earned solid reviews for itself and its cast. Some people even thought Bill Murray gave his all. Writing for ABC News, David Blaustein stated,: "St. Vincent is the most complete performance of Bill Murray’s career." Hell, John Patterson of The Guardian even wrote: "This isn’t a stretch for Murray... though he is asked to act perhaps 5% harder than usual when he has a stroke and must learn to talk again..."
Bill Murray Wouldn't Even Show His Face In 'Dumb And Dumber To'Video: YouTube
It says something about the extremely low quality of the depressingly pedestrian Dumb and Dumber sequel that Murray wouldn't even show his face in a cameo. He just stands there in a gas mask and hazmat suit while Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels do their best (very bad) impressions of their much younger, more enthusiastic selves. Do we even know that's really Murray under that gas mask? Maybe they dubbed his voice in later.
Kudos to Murray for allowing his part to stand, though. Jennifer Lawrence made a cameo that she asked to be cut from the film. The reason why remains unspecified, but, um... it's probably because she saw the movie.
Bill Murray Phones It In While Filming 'Larger Than Life'
You know things are bad when you're out acted by an elephant and a pay phone. If you're asking yourself, "What...is Larger than Life," well, it's a "comedy" about a motivational speaker who inherits an elephant when his father passes.
Right from the start, you know the film is doomed. Bill Murray, the world's most ironic man, as a motivational speaker. What's he trying to motivate people to do, stop caring?