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Saturday, November 11, 2017

Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

In the 1930s, the famous Belgian detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is traveling on the Orient Express on his way back to London. When an American gangster (Johnny Depp) asks for his protection after death threats, Poirot turns him down. When he's later discovered stabbed to death, Poirot is faced with the conclusion that the killer was one of his fellow passengers. Based on the Agatha Christie classic mystery and directed by Branagh. In a word ..... awful! Christie's source novel is foolproof material so it always mystifies me why adapters attempt to "improve" on it. The screenplay by Michael Green adds interracial romance, drug addiction, Nazi sympathizers and a long lost love for Poirot. Branagh isn't remotely believable as Poirot, not Christie's Poirot anyway though to be fair he's better than David Suchet (who wouldn't be?). The film lacks the star power and glamour of the definitive 1974 adaptation but that's not the problem. The CGI laden film looks ugly, the performances except for Penelope Cruz as a missionary range from indifferent to poor. I can't imagine a true Christie fan being satisfied. Even the normally reliable Patrick Doyle's underscore is a drag. The large cast includes Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, Derek Jacobi, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr. and Lucy Boynton.   

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