I was looking forward to Murder on the Orient Express (MOTOE) as it’s been some time since there was a decent who-dun-it. Thankfully, Sir Kenneth Branagh (SKB) did not disappoint.
As it’s a murder mystery I can’t really touch on any plot details, however, it’s no surprise to say there are a bunch of people on a train, one of them dies and Hercules Poirot (SKB) has to work out what happened. Anyway, it’s not about who did it (as I didn’t find it hard to work out) but how you get there that counts.
There really is a large all-star cast and I cannot remember them all but we do at least have Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Judi Dench, Michelle Pfeiffer and Sir Derek Jacobi (the SKB regular). Sir Ken is the main man though and he gives an engaging performance without being too pompous or superior. I have to mention his moustache though, its magnificent, practically it’s own character (if there was an Oscar for moustaches his would win hands down).
There is some action but its more about the individual interaction between each ‘suspect’ and Hercule. He then puts together a case whilst letting us into small details that will help the watcher work out what they think happened.
The whole film has very high production values and looks really good, from the snowy setting (CGI’d but very good nonetheless), the lavish décor of the train and all the period costumes. I thought the train was a bit short on coaches though but perhaps I missed why this was the case.
Note: We actually took my mother-in-law who is an bona fide expert on murder mysteries and she loved it, giving it the big 10 out of 10.
Verdict: What a pleasant surprise to see an old type of murder mystery with an all star cast. They just don’t make them like this anymore but I hope they do as it was jolly good fun. Next one up is on the Nile.