Sunday, January 21, 2018

Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writers: Michael Green, Agatha Christie

Composer: Patrick Doyle

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Penelope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman

More info: IMDb

Tagline: Everyone is a Suspect.

Plot: When a murder occurs on the train he's travelling on, celebrated detective Hercule Poirot is recruited to solve the case.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Maybe.

Branagh's Poirot is fun.  I liked him a lot, actually, and I dug everyone else.  I was even surprised that I liked Depp for a change.  It seems that, at least in the past fifteen or so years, that if he's playing a non-quirky role that he's boring.  I don't like most of quirky roles either but at least here he's doing some acting and he's doing a fine job of it.  I think this might be the only Agatha Christie movie I've seen besides the 1974 version of this film which starred Albert Finney in the Poirot role.  I might have seen DEATH ON THE NILE (1978) in the early 80s.  But the only thing I remember from the '74 ORIENT is who committed the murder.  What Branagh & co. do with the ending in this one is very, very nicely handled, although the Last Supper shot of all of the suspects is so blatantly obvious and silly I couldn't control myself from giggling.  I'm sure my neighbors in the theater didn't appreciate it but it was a gut reaction.  For the most part the movie is quite enjoyable however it suffers around the two-thirds mark for about a half hour with the pacing.  It slows down a great deal and I started to lose interest.  Except for the dumb Jesus moment in the end, the climax was nicely handled.  When I saw it last month in the theater there was already talk of the sequel, DEATH ON THE NILE, having already been greenlit.  Goody.

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