This week we went to see Kenneth Branagh’s remake of Agatha Christie’s best selling Hercule Poirot adventure Murder on the Orient Express.
Much like the famous 1974 film v Sidney Lumet film version, this again has an all-star cast in this murder mystery set on the famous Orient Express train.
We first meet Poirot (Played by Branagh) when he solves a case in Jerusalem, where he by chance, catches up with his old friend Bouc (Tom Bateman)
Bouc offers him a free place on the Orient Express, where he currently works to get him to his next destination, which Poirot gratefully accepts.
On the train, criminal and general nasty piece of work, Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp) requests Poirot, with a large cash offer to act as his bodyguard, as he fears for his life. Poirot declines, as he needs to recharge his batteries and wishes to switch his mind off to prepare for the next case.
Needless to say, Ratchett ends up being murdered, and when an avalanche stops the train in his track, Poirot agrees to solve the case for his friend Bouc, whilst they wait for the train to get moving again.
We see Poirot interview the various passengers played by Penelope Cruz; Michelle Pfeiffer; Judi Dench; Willem Dafoe; Josh Gad; Derek Jacobi; Leslie Odom Jr; Daisy Ridley; Olivia Coleman; Lucy Boynton; Marwen Kenzari and Sergei Polunin.
The trouble is we never really get to see much development of these characters, we get a brief synopsis as for why they are a suspect, with some brief flashbacks, then we go back to it being all about Poirot who we felt was almost in every shot.
Of course, some of the actors stand out, Pfeiffer is excellent, Depp also is well cast as the bad guy but Judi Dench has 2 small dogs, which seem to do more than her in the whole film, which is disappointing.
The film does, however, look great, capturing the period of the time very well, the train, costumes and the Poirot mustache are as impressive as any of the cast!
The 1974 version received 6 Oscar nominations, with 1 win for Ingrid Bergman for the best-supporting-actress but we don’t predict anymore for this serviceable remake.
The original started a franchise, with Death on the Nile following, the film does suggest that this could also follow if this does well as Poirot at the end is asked to travel to Egypt!
The film has a great start, but overall the film is incredibly average, feeling more like a Sunday night TV drama than the blockbuster we were expecting with such a superb cast.
Watch the trailer here:
You can visit the film website to try and solve the case and more here:
You can pre-order the film here:
Or get the classic book here:
Never miss a BMAF blog. Receive email notifications when new posts are published by entering your email address in the subscription box on the top right-hand side of this page.
You can also like us on Facebook for more film news and content www.facebook.com/barkingmadaboutfilms/