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  • Writer's pictureRob Ervin

Don Reviews "Death on the Nile"

It is no secret that I am not a big reader and an also not a fan over all of sequels because I have seen SO many that don’t measure up. Given this, I really did enjoy the 2017 version of Agatha Christie’s “Murder on the Orient Express,” and with the “sequel” to it now in theaters in “Death on the Nile,” I was very interested and hoping it would measure up.

Kenneth Branagh stars and directs again, and just like the previous film this has a star-studded cast including Armie Hammer, Gal Gadot, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Ali Fazal, Annette Bening and Russell Brand. World-famous detective Hercule Poirot (Branagh) is on vacation after the events in “Murder on the Orient Express,” and in doing so, he winds up attending the wedding of Simon Doyle (Hammer) and socialite Linnet Ridgeway (Gadot). The couple met after Doyle is lured away from his previous fiancé in Jacqueline de Bellefort (Mackey), and as the wedding celebration begins, Bellefort is basically stalking the couple to try and win her former love back. In order to avoid her, the newlyweds and their small wedding party wind up on the S.S. Karnak floating down the Nile River. Under mysterious circumstances, Linnet is murdered, and Hercule is back on task trying to figure out who committed the crime from the small suspect list and tight quarters.

Just like the first film, I was impressed with the mood and overall cinematography. Even though a majority of the film was actually filmed in Morocco, I was taking that cursed cruise down the Nile with the cast to the point where I am considering going there myself with my wife. There is a good amount of CGI here (mostly because of reshoots), but it was done right.

Branagh is spot on as Hercule, just like before with great performances by stars like Brand, Bening and Hammer. My shout-out here goes to Mackey, who plays the evil and jealous ex-lover who can show constraint to the point of not breaking the law, but the darkness is still there. The big thing I noticed hers is how personal this particular script got when dealing with the characters and their background stories (and with Poirot himself). Although “Death on the Nile” has the same feel as “Murder on the Orient Express,” (which is not surprising) it does not make the list of a sequel that flops, so I will recommend it as a twilight showing in the theater.

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