Summary: A lavish train ride unfolds into a stylish & suspenseful mystery. From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers & one man’s race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.
**I have to say that I don’t think this is a remake considering it’s based on a book, it’s just another adaptation.
Cast and Characters. Normally, I would do a little breakdown of all the characters, or at least the ones that stood out the most, but I found that I couldn’t really do that here. I can’t do that without giving away important bits of the story. But I think every actor did very well in their roles. Kenneth Branagh plays the detective Hercule Poirot who is trying to solve the murder. Everyone else come and go throughout the film, we learn just a bit about each character to begin to form our own ideas of why they could have committed a murder. However, I will say that I thought Johnny Depp did a very good job in the movie, he’s not in it for very long but his character was probably the most interesting and I did want to know more about him. I’ve always loved Johnny Depp and I still do, so he was a standout here.
Very Stylized. I think the film looks very great. I know I say it all the time when I talk about the look of the film, that it looks crisp. But it does! It’s so beautiful! Any time the camera would travel over to the train from an aerial view, the landscape looked so beautiful. Just seeing how the snow looked, or how it looked at night, even the costumes all looked so beautiful!
The Music. Patrick Doyle does the music here and I thought it fit the film very well. I liked the score at the end of the film very much but it helps create this element of mystery and intrigue throughout the film. Any time it was needed, it would crescendo. It’s lovely.
The Mystery. I thought the mystery was very interesting. I love solving puzzles and mysteries and I really was trying to figure it out as the film went along. That’s the part I loved the most about the film was trying to figure it out. Trying to discover the little hints of answers, trying to catch little things that would help, I really loved all that.
Kind of boring. I liked the movie, don’t get me wrong. But I thought it was a bit too long, drawn out and boring. I love mysteries, I love solving puzzles and looking at all the clues. My favorite board game is in fact Clue but being that this is a movie, I felt like they were trying to drag it out for this big finish at the end and I think it fell flat. There’s nothing really going on other than the Detective trying to solve it and bits of information being given. Other than that, there really isn’t anything else going on and it’s gets a bit boring and tedious because of it.
No Character Stands Out. I thought all the actors were great but I didn’t think any of the characters were interesting outside finding out who the killer was. I wasn’t able to really get into any of the characters to really feel anything for them. I don’t think it had anything to do with how many there were because there are movies were there are ensembles and at least some of the characters are interesting, or all them (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter etc). A lot of time is spent with Hercule Poirot and it felt like Kenneth Branagh really put himself in the forefront (he directed as well) and that affects the rest of the characters. When the stinger comes at the end, I wanted to really care but I couldn’t.
Overall, I liked the movie, I thought it was fun for the most part. I looks great, the acting is all very well done, the music really helps the movie and I think that it’s pretty standard in terms of being a “whodunit” type of film. With that said, I do think the movie is a bit boring overall, and it feels too long because there’s not a lot going on and it can lag a bit during scenes. I’ve never read the book or seen the old adaptation but it just feels like it was missing something. Perhaps it needed to be more fast paced and that would have helped. It’s not this sophisticated film and it didn’t need to try so hard. I also didn’t think any of the characters really stood out, it felt like Kenneth Branagh was front and center and while that wasn’t always a bad thing, it did prevent the other characters from being interesting. It doesn’t add anything new to the genre but the mystery is fun to figure out.
Rating: 2.8 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Murder on the Orient Express? Did you see the original adaptation? Read the book? How did it hold up?
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