Don Reviews "Murder On The Orient Express"
OK, I admit it: there are many classic novels and classic films I have never seen. I am not much of a reader (which is well documented within our little show’s history) because my mind wanders when I read. Because of this, I know there have been some great things in culture that I have missed out on, but there have been some great works that have intrigued me, so maybe one day I will get around to checking out. One such popular work is “Murder on the Orient Express” by Agatha Christie, and now Kenneth Branagh has brought it to the silver screen.
Along with Penelope Cruz (Vanilla Sky, Blow), Willem Defoe (Platoon, Spider-Man), Judi Dench (Casino Royale, Philomena), Leslie Odom, Jr. (Red Tails, Smash), Johnny Depp (Black Mass, Tusk), Daisy Ridley (Lifesaver, Scrawl), Josh Gad (Pixels, Jobs), Derek Jacobi (Gladiator, Cinderella), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Gypsy), and Michelle Pfeiffer (Dangerous Minds, Scarface), Hercule Poirot (Branagh) who is considered to be one of the world’s best detectives takes a luxury train ride across Europe to get home to London for a vacation where fellow passenger Edward Ratchett (Depp) is worried there are people after him, as he is a bit of a shady character. While traveling in the mountains of Yugoslavia, the train gets derailed from an avalanche just as one of the passengers is killed, and Poirot is back on the job to solve the case.
This film does have a cast of some great and timeless actors and actresses, who does well complimenting each other roles without trying to outshine each other. I have to say my shout out role goes to Branagh, who plays the part perfectly as the Belgian Inspector with mannerisms, attitude, and accent that truly makes the lead role shine. When it comes to the look of the film, I was really blown away. There were a few scenes in the beginning of the film that were shot on locations around the Middle East and it shows the towns beautifully. Also and even more impressive is the part where the train is traveling before it gets derailed, with some incredible shots showing the train going through the different country sides. There was some CGI used, but used correctly. I also have to add that there are some panoramic shots and the use and angles of the camera that were impressive.
I did not know the story going into the film, so maybe that is a good thing. I did like the storyline over all, and given that it is about an hour and fifty minutes, there is a few minutes by the end where I thought it dragged. Besides that, I was really captivated by this film. Now, I do not know how close the book is compared to the novel, so I cannot make any judgements on that. But I did like the twists and turns. I did have some expectations leading up to this film due to it is based off a classic, and I was not disappointed. I will definitely recommend this film, and as a twilight or full price showing.