“Murder on the Orient Express” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

3 November, 2017

Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenwriter: Michael Green
Director of Photography: Haris Zambarloukos
Kenneth Branagh, Johnny DeppMichelle Pfeiffer

Synopsis: A long-distance passenger train becomes the site of a gruesome murder, leaving expert detective Hercule Poirot to whittle down the suspects while the commuters wait to be rescued from an avalanche.

Murder on the Orient Express Review:

Old-school escapism for the binge-watch generation in a format that feels like a Netflix movie yet envisions something far more grandiose in its contemporary renovation, “Murder on the Orient Express” sees a traditional murder mystery in a new era, taking an innately televisual text and aiming to create an adaptation that’s more ambitious and flashy than its strict temperament allows for. A film all about the casting and almost entirely reliant on the appeal of recognisable performers, the movie pits actor against actor, focusing predominantly on self-proclaimed star Kenneth Branagh as he places himself in top billing and smiles for the cameras.

Overplaying the story’s natural iconography and riding intoxicated on postmodern flair, “Murder on the Orient Express” is as clumsy as it is ambitious, forcing us to ask ‘why?’ in an ensemble piece that the world was never truly lacking to begin with. Brimming with A-Listers yet pushing only the director himself into the spotlight, the movie offers few of its seat-fillers their true moment to shine, finding itself cursed by a cramped screenplay, creating many a dull moment between famous faces as ageing stars and fledgling newcomers play Clue atop a snow-covered mountain and struggle to make it appealing.

Although nothing beats the perceptive charm of David Suchet’s Poirot and it’s impossible to match the legacy of his thirteen seasons on a hit TV show, Kenneth Branagh revamps the Belgian icon with greying features and an elongated moustache, putting his own spin on the beloved detective as the film’s murder unfolds like a brand new crime story. Widley known as one of the classic Agatha Christie murder mysteries but still rather unconventional in its exploration of rough justice, “Murder on the Orient Express” tries and fails to capture the essence of an on-screen page-turner, giving us few moments of genuine suspense in the lead up to its highly anticipated reveal-all finale.


Review Date
Murder on the Orient Express