Movie Review: MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
Star Rating (out of 5): *
Murder on The Orient Express may be the most unnecessary adaptation in the history of Hollywood. Near the end of the screening: “Y’know it’s funny, I’m meeting Kenneth Branagh next week”, says my Dad. “Yeah well, he did his best”, I replied. Dad: “No, he also directed this”. Whoops.
The movie has suitable production design, although there’s some downsides to that in my opinion (see below). Kenneth Branagh gives a charming performance. Johnny Depp and Michelle Pfeiffer were alright.
The style goes off the rails (heh) trying to prove itself. CGI is obvious, cinematography is flunky, and the production design gets sort of redundant. I mean, yeah it’s one setting, but it’s sort of ugly.
Despite Agatha Christie’s classic magic and the amazing cast, most characters appear stiff and kind of forced into the elaborate plot. Thanks to the uninspired black-and-white flashbacks, their backstories sadly felt like half-assed Hollywood tropes. The murder mystery is surprisingly un-intriguing. The reveal is obvious even if you haven’t read the book or seen the previous movie.
Toward the end, things become so damn campy I had to laugh when I was supposed to be moved to tears.
Murder On The Orient Express is a waste of money, time and outstanding actors. Kenneth Branagh is a cool guy and shows that in his performance, but not in the director’s chair – at least not when an Agatha Christie mystery is being served.