Don Reviews "A Haunting in Venice"
It can be difficult to leave the spotlight and live out your life in anonymity. Duran Duran drummer Roger Taylor is one of the few that have really been able to successfully after he left the band in 1986 and even refused to be in their VH-1 Behind the Music in 1999. Rick Moranis is another that did so in 1997 after a personal tragedy convinced him to be with his children full-time. This also applies to the current state of fictional renowned investigator Hercule Poirot in Kenneth Branagh’s third portrayal of him in A Haunting in Venice.
Kenneth Branagh directs an all-star cast again that includes Michelle Yeoh, Jamie Dornan, Tina Fey, Kelly Reilly, Riccardo Scamarcio, Camille Cottin and Jude Hill. After the events of Death on the Nile, Poirot has left detective life behind and is trying to live out his days in Venice. After he meets up with his friend, Ariadne Oliver (Fey), they end up at a séance to see if contact can be made with a child who was murdered. Afterwards, one of the guests is murdered, and all of them are stranded in the house during a horrible storm, drawing Poirot back to what he does best.
The acting is on par with the prior films as Branagh does not disappoint alongside another ensemble that all works together well. This film carries a darker tone than Murder on the Orient Express and Nile, and the visual style goes right there alongside in a way that made me enjoy this film that much more, and the on-location filming in Venice made me put that city on my list to visit. This may be a different kind of story than the other Poirot films, but that is actually a good thing here.
This may be the same type of story that author Agatha Christie has done before, but it still has that quality of the surprise ending that even though I tried to pay attention to the clues (because that is what you have to do in a “whodunit” film), I am still not sure I could have put it all together in a runtime of just over an hour and a half, which is right for the story itself. I still hold Murder on the Orient Express as my favorite of the three, but this one now sits in second place of the three, so I will recommend it to be seen as a matinee on a Saturday afternoon in a theater.