Twelve passengers. One killer. It’s up to you to find out who’s who. Murder On The Orient Express is another live-action adaptation of Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery novel. It is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also stars in the film as the great detective Hercule Poirot. And it’s written by the screenwriter Michael Green (Logan, Blade Runner 2049 and Alien: Covenant). The movie has a talented group of actors such as Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, Michelle Pfeiffer and Johnny Depp. With a talented director/actor helming this film, this should be good, right?
After solving a case in Jerusalem, Hercule Poirot decides to take a break from his work. While boarding the Orient Express, a murder has been committed. It’s up to Poirot to put an end to the chaos and find out how and why the murder has been committed. By interrogating all the passengers who might be a suspect, it’s quite intriguing to assume who’s innocent and who’s not.
Let’s get this out of the way, the movie is gorgeous looking. It’s incredibly breathtaking. It’s so beautifully shot, and you can tell Branagh wanted this movie to showcase its production value. The cinematography is stunning, the camera movements are great, and the costume design is wonderful. According to the director, Murder On The Orient Express was filmed with 65 mm cameras. The cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos does a phenomenal job showcasing its gorgeous visuals.
Just by watching the trailer, viewers will undeniably love the colour palette and the stylishness of the film. It’s no wonder Branagh was the perfect choice for this film after directing the first Thor and the live-action adaptation of Cinderella. Ironically, this film is going up against Thor: Ragnarok at the box office.
Speaking of Branagh, he really carries the film as the lead character. It’s not easy to direct and act at the same time but luckily he managed to pull it off. It’s so much fun seeing him go through this investigation and find out who’s the killer. But his charismatic performance can be a little jarring sometimes when he acts super cartoonish like Inspector Clouseau. Every time he touches his moustache, it’s sometimes hard to take him seriously as a character. The rest of the cast is also fine, but the problem is that not all the actors are memorable. Except Michelle Pfeiffer. She’s the scene-stealer. While it is interesting to see each character being interrogated by Poirot, it does feel rushed at times. You’re being introduced to all these characters with not a lot of development unfortunately. They go through their backstories really quickly. The script, while having witty and clever dialogue, isn’t able to cram it all together. At least the film doesn’t treat the audience like idiots.
Even if the film has some flaws with its supporting characters, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. While some of the investigation scenes sometimes feel a little messy and rushed, the cast delivers great performances, especially Kenneth Branagh and Michelle Pfeiffer. This is still an enjoyable murder mystery film waiting for you to be the detective alongside Hercule Poirot.
Murder on the Orient Express is now playing in theatres.