Director: Kenneth Branagh
Writer: Michael Green. Based on the novel by Agatha Christie
Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Willem Defoe, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp
Detective, criminal, drama / Budget: $55 mln
Somehow detectives, one of the most interesting genres to watch, haven’t been getting too much love recently. While Marvel, Star Wars and other CGI-powered movies dominate the theatres and the box office, it seems like no one wants to film good old detectives or when somebody does it, the outcome sucks. The last brilliant one, Sherlock by Guy Ritchie with Robert Downey-Jr and Jude Law, was released back in 2011 and we could barely watch anything ever since.
Murder on the Orient Express has come to our rescue. The movie was supposed to be a powerhouse with so many Hollywood stars in it. Come to think of it, Johnny Depp, one of the “most wanted” actors for any film, can scarcely be called a supporting role performer. Kenneth Branagh, who played in a lot of amazing movies but hasn’t directed anything fantastic, was supposed to work with a bunch of stars and, to be honest, he did his job quite well.
The movie is based on the story by Agatha Christie and tells us about her signature character, Hercule Poirot, who goes to Istanbul on Taurus Express, an Aleppo-Syria train, not so long after the World War I. Hercule just minds his own business and he is happy that he was able to catch this train and get to Turkey in time. It’s just a usual journey – some passengers are fine, some are weird. Nothing extraordinary, we’ve seen it all, right? In a few hours, however, after the train departs from the station, one of the passengers is found stabbed to death multiple times.
The main question each of us asks themselves before seeing a detective movie, “Will I know who the killer is after a half of the movie?”, gets a no for the answer, which is a good thing. The actors are amazing, as mentioned before, and the cameraman does a decent job – he is able to find perfect angles and the occasional views are truly beautiful. There is just too much of the filming from the top, he’d better take that camera off the ceiling. The movie gets boring somewhere in the middle but then makes up for this with a good ending. Waiting for the 2nd part!