Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Director: Kenneth Branagh (12a).
Travelling back to England from Jerusalem where he has just solved the theft of a religious artefact, internationally renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) boards the Orient Express at the behest of a good friend (Tom Bateman), who also owns the most luxurious train on earth.
After an avalanche leaves them stranded, it's discovered that Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp), a rich but coarse passenger, has been brutally murdered in the most frenzied manner. Noted for his discretion and swiftness at solving crimes, Poirot is asked to interrogate passengers and staff.
Review by Jason Day
Topping the sublime, dreamy, lavish 1974 film version of whodunnit author Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot novel, first published in 1934, was always going to be a tough job.
Director/star Branagh doesn't quite excel that movie but he has made a fine go of it, replacing the impish, drawing room comedy of Sidney Lumet's film with a harsher, more violent and action packed treatment.
For the most part, it works well.
I have always felt that when Branagh is behind the camera, for all of his estimable talent in front of it, he can't quite pull all of the cinematic elements together to make a truly compelling movie.
Frankenstein was horribly wooden and unintentionally funny; Cinderella was beautiful but as empty and transparent as the ubiquitous glass slipper.
Here, with a glittering star cast (albeit some more on form than others), a handsome train set to play with and some decent dialogue for himself, he has produced a worthy successor to that older film.
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Cast & credits
Director: Kenneth Branagh. 114mins.Twentieth Century Fox/Genre Films/Kinberg Genre/The Mark Gordon Company/Scott Free Productions/Latina Productions/The Estate of Agatha Christie. (12a)
Producers: Kenneth Branagh, Mark Gordon, Judy Hofflund, Simon Kinberg, Michael Schaefer, Ridley Scott.
Writer: Michael Green.
Camera: Haris Zambarloukos.
Music: Patrick Doyle.
Sets: Jim Clay.
Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Josh Gad, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Johnny Depp, Tom Bateman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, Lucy Boynton, Marwan Kenzari.
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