Saturday, January 13, 2018

Murder on the Orient Express (2017) - Movie Review

The Movie: Murder on the Orient Express

The Director: Kenneth Branagh

The Cast: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Gad, Lucy Boynton, Sergei Polunin, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman

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

The Review:
Before watching this movie, I had never read the book or watched the previous film version so I knew nothing about the story going in although this story seemed like the perfect vehicle for Kenneth Branagh's film making style. True to form, he absolutely nails the look and style of the time while giving it just enough of a heightened sense of reality so you never forget this is a fantastic tale of fiction and not some mundane story pulled from reality. While the movie looks great, I feel like this telling of the story is a bit flat and distant with no real emotional connection which is odd considering the roster of talent lined up to fill each of the roles.

Branagh himself takes the lead role as Belgian detective Hercule Poirotand and he is nearly everything you would expect him to be although again, it feels like something is missing and the true person is glossed over in favor of style and panache. I guess one of the flaws of the story in this regard is that there are so many characters and they all seem very interesting if we had a little more time to get to know them. I was trying to think of one performance, other than Branagh that really stood out, and unfortunately not one came to mind.

The Verdict:
Murder on the Orient Express is heavy on style and light on substance. It looks great on the big screen but the story won't leave much of a lasting impression.

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