Murder On The Orient Express UV or iTunes Code
E.M. Bristol VINE VOICE
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth watching
I haven't seen the original 1974 version, which may be partly why I gave the remake the rating I did. Here director/star Kenneth Branaugh plays the famous Belgian detective Hercules Poirot. At first when he boards the titular Orient Express in the film, his biggest irritation is an annoying bunkmate, however, when a dead passenger (Johnny Depp) is soon discovered, he soon has much more on his plate.
The bad news: the train has more than enough suspects; the good news is that there's a famous detective on board who can solve it, plus the train keeps breaking down in the middle of snow-covered nowhere, so at least there's plenty of time to think before they reach their destination. (Of course, that also gives the killer plenty time to strike again). And I also had plenty of time to ponder things while watching the movie.
Things relevant to the movie, such whodunit, but also things like, "Is Kenneth Branaugh wearing colored contact lenses?" and "Just how long did it take to put on that mustache anyway?" This is because although all the performances (from Dame Judi Dench to Josh Gad) as the other passengers are excellent, the movie seemed awfully long. A critic (sorry can't remember who) once said of Johnny Depp's performance in "Black Mass" that he enters every scene as if he's won first place in a costume party, and that line ran through my head whenever Kenneth made a dramatic appearance. (Sometimes he is even filmed from above, which gave me a crick in my neck, but didn't happen too often.)
The plot revolves around a crime that occurred prior to the journey, when the young daughter of a rich couple is kidnapped and murdered. Unsurprisingly, everyone on the train has some kind of connection to this crime - though of course, there's plenty of misrepresenting the truth so it will take all Kenneth's wits and wiles to extract what is really going on.
And naturally, the killer might possibly want Kenneth dead, too once he starts snooping around. There is some unabashed scenery chewing in this movie, but overall, I enjoyed it, especially as I had no clue how it was going to end.
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