Friday, November 1, 2019

Knives Out - Movie Review

The Movie: Knives Out

The Director: Rian Johnson

The Cast: Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell

The Story: A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

The Review:
First of all, take a look at that amazing cast. So much talent, so many stars, and so much acting ability all packed into two hours and ten minutes of viciously inventive comedy. It was especially fun to see some of the more iconic actors playing roles that are a major departure from how we normally see them with prime examples being Chris Evans as a bratty and brash socialite and Daniel Craig as a private investigator with a deep south American drawl.

To be completely honest, I was hoping not to like this movie for purely selfish reasons. You see, Rian Johnson wrote and directed Star Wars: The Last Jedi which, in my opinion, is one of the worst films in the entire franchise so because of that, I want him to fail at everything else. As I sat there watching this movie, which is a brilliantly written dark comedy mystery thriller, I kept wondering how in the world the same person who wrote such a pile of nonsense with The Last Jedi could create something so rich and wonderful and exquisitely layered as this was.

Johnson's story is a throwback to Agatha Christie who done it stories with extra heaping helpings of hilarious hi-jinks thrown in for good measure and every single bit of it works. The style and pacing plays out similarly to the iconic 1980's classic Clue, which also had an amazing ensemble cast, although not quite as gleefully playful, this movie is quite a bit darker around the edges yet the same spirit is still there. The dialog has that same razor sharp snap to it and the actors play off of each other in some really fun ways, especially when they are all together trying to sort out what is happening to their suddenly upended reality.

Most of the story takes place in a big old rich people style house which is filled with all of the eccentricities you might expect from a character who is a world renowned writer of fiction. The level of detail involved in creating the inner working and accouterments of the home is quite impressive and adds a lot of depth and history to the family and the story. The house really is an extravagantly cluttered mess that has so much personality and contains so many secrets, it mirrors the family perfectly in every way.

I am honestly very happy to have thoroughly enjoyed this movie even if I still harbor ill will towards its creator for having previously done the unforgivable. I will give Mr. Johnson a pass this time around and encourage you wholeheartedly to go out and enjoy the heck out of this movie as quickly as you can. Knives Out is easily one of the best comedies of the year.

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