Gia Says Wait For The Next Train On Murder on the Orient Express

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One express ticket to the last 20 minutes of this movie, please!

Because that’s where it gets pretty good.

Murder on the Orient Express is a film with a lot of potential. There was too much talent from the cast that made the film crash.

Kenneth Branagh plays Detective Hercule Poirot in this Agatha Christie adaptation, a man with a firm belief in the rigidness of right and wrong and no grey areas. When murder strikes on the train, Branagh played Poirot with almost a mathematical approach: serious, classy and charmingly funny. Serious, classy and charmingly funny. That was all the script merited him to do, and he performed so exquisitely and consistently it seemed he shot all of his scenes in one day.

Perhaps it was his devilishly interesting mustache.

Daisy Ridley played Mary Debenham, an elusive, intoxicating character, with poise and a cut-him-to-the-quick attitude. She takes over every not just every scene but every frame she’s in, and we should expect more great things from her.

Leslie Odom Jr. is almost unrecognizable, both in his appearance and his performance. It was lovely seeing him from Broadway to the big screen, but he can work his face and voice to a grander level for a more dominant presence.

Josh Gad reminded me a lot of Jason Alexander as George Costanza as he paced back and forth in the corridor outside his deceased boss’s (Johnny Depp) cabin, suffocating with guilt and an interesting detachment from the oh-so-stressful situation.

Michelle Pfeiffer was excellent in her role, almost has if she reprised her part in Darren Aronsky’s mother! as a damaged, ruthless woman.

While these actors were fun to watch, the entire film was one long exposition. Without of course giving away the details, the story’s unfolding seemed jarring. I️t was easy to follow, but it all seemed thrown together.

There was plenty of room for blame, but absolutely no way of figuring out character’s  motive for the murder until the end. They were all static characters until the final 20 minutes – which may have been the point, but that’s not how a good movie works.

I️ wish the film capitalized on the detective with more emotion. He needed rest, but he knew he had a job to do. A few extra scenes with an internal struggle would’ve been key to getting me more invested. Sometimes it’s tough to have depth in characters in a mystery novel adaptation to film – especially from a classic such as this – but if you’re going to do this, either make it more dramatic or funny as hell.

This was an unfulfilled attempt at both.

There was one overhead shot I️ enjoyed. Other that that, the visual aspect of the film was solid, but expected.

Overall, Murder on the Orient Express had a killer cast with an undeveloped script and safe direction.

You can skip this one.

Final Word