CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017) - Post Release Thread
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017) - Post Release Thread - Page 2

post #51 of 135

Basic impression: I liked it!  Quite a lot.

 

A sumptuous production that has an old-fashioned feel in a very good way.  For the most part, the movie is a glamorous confection that is very much a tip of the cap (or a throwback) to a sort of film not made often anymore.

 

The screenplay (unnecessarily, I’d argue) elides and condenses some details of Christie’s plot, but for the most part, this is a very faithful presentation of the story, and one which Branagh (as director) uses to offer up absolutely top notch costuming, suitably elegant production design and set decoration, and stylish, beautiful cinematography.  This is just a damn handsome film to look at. 

 

The only significant misstep is the decision to set a not-inconsiderable amount of the scenes outside the train; this is a story that benefits (in my view) from a sense of some claustrophobia, and that’s limited here.  However, in the grand scheme one can see why this choice was made, as it allows Branagh to open things up and stage sequences more easily than if the entirety was on the train itself.

 

The members of the cast all do fine work; for example, Depp is actually engaged and giving a for-real performance (!), while of the suspects, Pfeiffer arguably gets the most to do and acquits herself very well in the flashiest, showiest part in the tale, save for Poirot.  And as Poirot, Branagh is absolutely wonderful, in what may be one of my favorite performances of the year.  He nails Poirot’s fussy side and his utter distaste for crime, but he also brings to the table a marvelous playfulness, a twinkle in the eye (if you will) that is incredibly appealing.  I would happily watch him in a series of Poirot films going forward.

 

It’s not a movie that will change anybody’s life, but it is a very high quality effort that I found highly entertaining and satisfying as a big fan of murder mysteries.

 

A few spoilery thoughts…

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
- While I really enjoyed Patrick Doyle’s score overall, I think it was a miscalculation to use the beautiful Armstrong theme over the actual murder sequence.  Perhaps I’m just too used to the ultra-eerie version of the murder from Lumet’s film, but I think the scene here needed something slightly more sinister.

- Knowing the details of the mystery going in, I was glad to see that the movie mostly plays fair for those watching who may already know what the game is.  Much of the story hinges on us buying that not only is the Armstrong case infamous and well-known to almost everybody in the tale, but also that Poirot, in particular, knows all the intricacies of it.  If you don’t accept that, you might view Poirot as possibly knowing things he shouldn’t, or making wild assumptions based on nothing, so perhaps the movie could have emphasized that just a bit more.

- I absolutely LOVE how the finale plays out here; Poirot’s “I cannot lie, you must kill me!” gambit is a little contrived, but I think it gives the resolution some extra juice, and it really helps set up Poirot’s ambivalence about the crime and its solution, which is an important touch.  He lets them off the hook, but he’s not truly confident he’s done the right thing, and that’s such a great way to leave the character.
post #52 of 135

Nice review. Glad you enjoyed it, Belloq!

post #53 of 135
I enjoyed this. A great old fashioned romp through a purely character-driven story. Really well shot, and everyone brought their A game to it. Branagh delivers a tremendous, introspective yet playful performance, and everything looked perfect. I wasn't spoiled going in, and was pleasantly surprised by how it all worked out. Was also pleasantly surprised by the theatre being completely full. That was a good sign.
post #54 of 135

Here's a really solid interview with Branagh.  I'm always interested to hear him talk about his films...

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jones View Post

I wasn't spoiled going in, and was pleasantly surprised by how it all worked out.

That's a fun feeling.  My folks are planning on seeing the movie next week, and despite having lots of Christie books and movies in the house growing up, neither of them have read the novel or seen the Lumet film; I'm looking forward to seeing what they think of the resolution of the mystery.

post #55 of 135

Really glad you enjoyed it, Belloq! Great review. In re:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
-Poirot knowing about the murder, I did like the addition of John Armstrong having written to Poirot about it, and then the payoff where Poirot "writes him back," able to finally retire the case.

Also, this is solidly overperforming at the Box Office - mid-to-high-twenties when people thought it might come in as low as $19 million. Provided it has a good hold next week, it'll make back its budget pretty easily with the holiday weekends coming up.

 

In terms of a Poirot sequel that's a deeper cut, I'll throw out ABC MURDERS or CARDS ON THE TABLE - you could probably get a really fun ensemble for the latter.

post #56 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

Really glad you enjoyed it, Belloq! Great review. In re:

 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
-Poirot knowing about the murder, I did like the addition of John Armstrong having written to Poirot about it, and then the payoff where Poirot "writes him back," able to finally retire the case.

Also, this is solidly overperforming at the Box Office - mid-to-high-twenties when people thought it might come in as low as $19 million. Provided it has a good hold next week, it'll make back its budget pretty easily with the holiday weekends coming up.

 

In terms of a Poirot sequel that's a deeper cut, I'll throw out ABC MURDERS or CARDS ON THE TABLE - you could probably get a really fun ensemble for the latter.


With respect to the point in spoiler text, I liked that little addition, particularly for the way they bring it back at the end.  It allows Poirot to sort of decompress the situation for the audience a little bit.

 

As for box office, that's good news.  The only other big releases before Thanksgiving are JUSTICE LEAGUE and COCO, and I could see MURDER being an option for the parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents over that week while the younger set are off to COCO.  Seems like it could be a decent counter-programming option. 

post #57 of 135

We've already talked about how difficult it would be to adapt The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and I discovered tonight that Orson Welles adapted it for Campbell Playhouse:

 

 

Less than an hour long, so obviously trimmed down quite a bit, but it has Welles as both Poirot and Dr. Sheppard.

post #58 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 

Here's a really solid interview with Branagh.  I'm always interested to hear him talk about his films...

 

 

Thanks for this interview. I was going to watch it in two parts and ended up watching the entire thing in one go because I found it so interesting. I liked the throwaway comment apparently made by Willem Dafoe that it made sense for Branagh to both lead the investigation as Poirot and lead the movie as director. Hadn't really thought about that connection between the two hats he was wearing on-set.


Edited by MrSaxon - 11/12/17 at 4:57am
post #59 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

We've already talked about how difficult it would be to adapt The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and I discovered tonight that Orson Welles adapted it for Campbell Playhouse:

 

 

Less than an hour long, so obviously trimmed down quite a bit, but it has Welles as both Poirot and Dr. Sheppard.

This should be a fun listen.  Will check it out tonight.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Thanks for this interview. I was going to watch it in two parts and ended up watching the entire thing in one go because I found it so interesting. I liked the throwaway comment apparently made by Willem Dafoe that it made sense for Branagh to both lead the investigation as Poirot and lead the movie as director. Hadn't really thought about that connection between the two hats he was wearing on-set.

The anecdote about Daisy Ridley forgetting a line and that take still ending up in the movie makes me want to see it again so I can be on the lookout for that.

post #60 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post

Here's a really solid interview with Branagh.  I'm always interested to hear him talk about his films...



Great interview.
post #61 of 135

 I just saw this and I enjoyed it. I doubt I will buy it on DVD when it comes out, but I would see another Branagh Poirot movie. Thanks to Doctor Who I knew how it ended, but I was surprised by what Poirot did with the evidence.

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
 I just assumed he would turn them all over to the police. Giving them what they believed to be a loaded gun was a clever way to decide if they where really murders at heart. It gives Poirot an arc; the man who believes everything must be in order learns that sometimes the right solution is the messy one.

It was good to see Depp put in a good performance again. Since it seems the POTC IP has run its course, maybe there will be more good performances from him again.

 

My favorite detective moment was Poirot telling The Professor to drop the act because he knew he wasn't Austrian.

post #62 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaz View Post
 

My favorite detective moment was Poirot telling The Professor to drop the act because he knew he wasn't Austrian.

Dafoe plays that beat really well, too.

post #63 of 135

Yeah, Dafoe doesn't get a whole lot to do in this film, but he definitely does a lot with what he has.

post #64 of 135

THAT was an excellent scene. 

post #65 of 135

While I thought that this was overall very good, I found that it had a few big flaws to it.

 

1.  Zero tension.  The movie is overall very flat and procedural.  Nobody ever really felt to be in any danger...it was just 'here's a murder, let's solve it.'  There wasn't a ticking clock to be had to add to any sort of suspense at all.

2.  Easy to solve. 

Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
My wife was completely unfamiliar with the movie and didn't know the famous ending at all.  She figured out the solution once Poirot examined the body and saw the 12 different stab wounds.  She whispered to me 'they all did it, didn't they?'  I didn't say anything, but 10 minutes later she whispered 'yeah, there's 12 of them.  They did this together.'  She was satisfied by the ending and felt good about figuring it out, but honestly...the clues are readily apparent to even the most casual viewer and the ending is completely telegraphed.  Ace Ventura could have solved this mystery as it was presented.

 

All of that said, it's very well made.  The acting from everyone is top notch (especially from Johnny Depp...he was GREAT in this) and the production design/costume design was lush.

post #66 of 135

The lack of tension is a "flaw" in all the Agatha Christie novels imo. She's not out to create tension: her stories are puzzles that are meant to baffle the reader. 

 

I'll probably see this, but I'm prejudiced by my love of Peter Ustinov, who does not play Poirot at all but does his own thing. But that thing is wonderful. 

post #67 of 135

Also: that mustache was too much.  WAAAAAAY too much.  I spent a lot of time staring at it and looking at the makeup to keep it on his face (looking for flaws and such).  I know that I missed some of the nuances of Branagh's performance because of it.

post #68 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cylon Baby View Post
 

I'll probably see this, but I'm prejudiced by my love of Peter Ustinov, who does not play Poirot at all but does his own thing. But that thing is wonderful. 

Ustinov's an underrated Poirot.  He can be funny, but also bring gravitas; there are some really effective moments in DEATH ON THE NILE where he conveys his extreme disappointment with the actions of Mia Farrow and his own inability to help her.

 

That said, you have to see Branagh's take.  If you don't, you're missing out on some really good stuff from him.

post #69 of 135

It seems me and my ex were the only ones who where utterly disappointed by this.

 

We both agreed that the whole thing was just so, so bland. There really wasn't much that differentiated this from being a major movie release and a lavish "...this Christmas on the BBC - Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, directed by Kenneth Branagh, hosting a star-studded cast." There didn't seem to be much to warrant this being on the big screen.

 

I'll be honest and say I'm not familiar with the book but I am with the ending, but because it felt so flat it kind of seems they took just book and just put it up on the screen. There it is. This is what happens. There didn't seem to be much in the way of making it work as a compelling movie and make it work for that medium. No tension. No character or world building. We know there's a going to be Murder on the Orient Express (spoiler), so lets get straight to the train after a brief introduction over some boiled eggs and a petty crime that even a child could work out. The direction just seemed so pedestrian. With 12 unique characters confined to a very small, yet luxurious location there should be ample opportunity to make each shine, yet not much was made of either the characters or the train. Such a wonderful location, all polished lacquered wood, mirrors, glamour, free-flowing liquor and silver service, the orange electric lights - such a unique and long-lost moment in time - a time and elegance that is so far removed from the modern day and it was simply ignored and used as a backdrop - it could have made for such sumptuous cinematography. Even it's introduction, arguably the most famous and romatisied train in the world was bungled. It was just dragged into frame as a some conductor walked along barking locations the train stops at. No long low sweeping shot as it's revealed though clouds of steam. Hell, the Hogwarts Express had a better reveal, the Millennium Falcon even got it's own musical flourish - here, nothing.

 

Poirot himself, I couldn't warm to. It wasn't that he was an excellent detective, it was that Branagh's lines got lost in his Belgian accent and it seemed so rushed in the explanation that by the end of the movie I wasn't 100% sure how he'd worked out exactly who everyone was, and so my mind simply glossed over this and he solved the crime simply because he was Poirot - and because I couldn't keep up with his accent or the explanation via the direction, then he just came across as an arrogant prick - "I am Poirot, the world's greatest detective, mumble mumble, jibber jabber - ha ha! The crime is solved Monsieur !" Yeah whatever, now please explain it a lot slower for us thickies.

 

I also think Daisy Ridley want to the same school of over-earnest acting that Emma Watson attended, and Michelle Pfeiffer brings absolutely nothing to the role other than Michelle Pfeiffer.

 

And the song at the end. And the song at the end. Christ, who or what was that? It was just a dreadful dirge.

 

If this is to be an ongoing series staring Branagh, then I hope they get someone in the chair who rather than simply takes the book and slaps it on the screen takes the book and makes it work for the medium and for the audience.

 

The one thing I did like about it? The typeface used for the credits. Lovely.

post #70 of 135

Honestly SE what else could you do with this novel? It is such a mousetrap of a plot, that you'd have to toss out the book, at which point, there IS no point. Most of the fun is seeing Big Glamerous Hollywood Stars interact with each other. 


Except, as is frequently mentioned on CHUD and elsewhere, that era has passed for the most part. 

 

For "Glamerous Hollywood stars" now substitute "victim or perpetrator of sex crimes". 

post #71 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

Such a wonderful location, all polished lacquered wood, mirrors, glamour, free-flowing liquor and silver service, the orange electric lights - such a unique and long-lost moment in time - a time and elegance that is so far removed from the modern day and it was simply ignored and used as a backdrop - it could have made for such sumptuous cinematography. Even it's introduction, arguably the most famous and romatisied train in the world was bungled. It was just dragged into frame as a some conductor walked along barking locations the train stops at. No long low sweeping shot as it's revealed though clouds of steam. Hell, the Hogwarts Express had a better reveal, the Millennium Falcon even got it's own musical flourish - here, nothing.

I felt that that multi-minute tracking shot following Poirot through the station and then onto the train - with virtually every other major character involved somewhere in the shot - accomplished many times over what you seem to be longing for.  It felt like a grand, striking way to introduce the central location of the story and the characters populating it.  I found it quite stylish.

post #72 of 135

With Belloq on this one.  Those opening shots did a great job of introducing the character of THE TRAIN and showing how it was laid out.  As the movie wore on and the action would take place in a particular car, I found myself completely understanding where the characters were located.

 

And those introductory shots (internal and external) did a marvelous job of reminding of TITANIC in terms of making me go 'this is the ultimate in opulence and glamour'.  Those beauty shots were wonderful, and they appeared now and again throughout the film to help the glamour going.

post #73 of 135

No I get both your points, but outside of the one overhead shot on the train that follows Poirot from Rachett's cabin back into his own, for me there didn't seem to be any real stand-out shot. And if the only stand-out is a simple overhead then you really do have a pedestrianly-shot movie. For me anyway.

 

And I agree that there's only so much you can do with the story without it suddenly not being the story, but you could have made so much more with world-building and scene setting.

post #74 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

And those introductory shots (internal and external) did a marvelous job of reminding of TITANIC in terms of making me go 'this is the ultimate in opulence and glamour'.  Those beauty shots were wonderful, and they appeared now and again throughout the film to help the glamour going.

 

Honestly, no. I got nothing, not a single thing like that from this.

post #75 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 

 

Honestly, no. I got nothing, not a single thing like that from this.

 

That's fair.  For me, it was like an instant 'oh, he's going the TITANIC route with this', and it worked beautifully.  Granted, you didn't have the sweeping Horner score to carry you along, but it worked for me nonetheless.  The train felt like a true luxury liner, and I loved every shot of it.

 

topic whiplash: I was blown away by how good Depp was in this.  He fully acted a character here without his usual tricks or gimmicks, and it all felt very authentic.  It was nice to see him pull this off, and I'd love to see him do something like this again, especially as part of an ensemble.

post #76 of 135

There's one really quick insert overhead shot of one of the train staff measuring the distance of all the silverware from the edge of the table that really hammered home that luxurious feel, even on top of the things I've already mentioned.  But if it didn't work for you, Elvis, it didn't work for you!  That's fair.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post

topic whiplash: I was blown away by how good Depp was in this.  He fully acted a character here without his usual tricks or gimmicks, and it all felt very authentic.  It was nice to see him pull this off, and I'd love to see him do something like this again, especially as part of an ensemble.

Yeah, I was really impressed with Depp.  It's - by necessity - a brief role, but he really makes the most of his small interactions and his one big scene with Poirot.  He feels like a very real guy; not devoid of personality by any means, but convincingly real.

 

It's probably too much to ask for him to bring this more grounded or understated approach to Grindelwald in FANTASTIC BEASTS 2, but maybe he'll surprise us.

post #77 of 135

I was impressed that they got Depp on board for this as he can't have come cheap, and then it turns out he's the guy who gets offed.

post #78 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

Seeing this tonight.

Does it sell the feeling of the luxury and glamour and romance of Art Deco and train travel in the 1930s? That’s the kind of world I’d like to get lost in for a couple of hours.

Very much so.  The sets they built for the main carriages are fantastic, I want to live in them.

 

Enjoyed it a lot, saw it with a packed house, and everyone seemed into it, I'd love more.

 

Edit: O clearly wrote that before I read the rest of the thread, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it, Elvis!

post #79 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post

Seeing this tonight.

Does it sell the feeling of the luxury and glamour and romance of Art Deco and train travel in the 1930s? That’s the kind of world I’d like to get lost in for a couple of hours.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBananaGrabber View Post
 

Very much so.  The sets they built for the main carriages are fantastic, I want to live in them.

 

I have to say, the scenes of the Express leaving Istanbul were pretty breathtaking.  We take mass transit so much for granted, but Branagh definitely conjured the allure and mystery and glamor of these steam engines roaring off into the distance.

post #80 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

With Belloq on this one.  Those opening shots did a great job of introducing the character of THE TRAIN and showing how it was laid out.  As the movie wore on and the action would take place in a particular car, I found myself completely understanding where the characters were located.

 

And those introductory shots (internal and external) did a marvelous job of reminding of TITANIC in terms of making me go 'this is the ultimate in opulence and glamour'.  Those beauty shots were wonderful, and they appeared now and again throughout the film to help the glamour going.

 

I wrote this particular post on my mobile phone.  I hope that all of you will please excuse my terrible grammar.

post #81 of 135

So this is already at $85 million worldwide, on a $55 million production budget. Christie Cinematic Universe!

post #82 of 135

Writing a post on your mobile phone does not instil the luxury or the glamour of the time. I didn't enjoy it.

post #83 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stale Elvis View Post
 

Writing a post on your mobile phone does not instil the luxury or the glamour of the time. I didn't enjoy it.

 

oh you.

post #84 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

So this is already at $85 million worldwide, on a $55 million production budget. Christie Cinematic Universe!


I'm on board for it.  Let's get Miss Marple cast immediately.

post #85 of 135

It's almost ironic that Poirot - an immigrant who was welcomed by Britain and subsequently embraced its culture and values - should thrive during a time when half of Britain apparently wants to close its doors to immigrants. 

post #86 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 


I'm on board for it.  Let's get Miss Marple cast immediately.

 

Helen Mirren.

post #87 of 135

This was great, not Top Ten for the year good, but good enough that I'd go see a sequel. Bring on more Poirot movies!

post #88 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

 

Helen Mirren.


I like it.

 

Or age-up Emma Thompson about 10 years.  For the Branagh connection!

post #89 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
2.  Easy to solve.  Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
My wife was completely unfamiliar with the movie and didn't know the famous ending at all.  She figured out the solution once Poirot examined the body and saw the 12 different stab wounds.  She whispered to me 'they all did it, didn't they?'  I didn't say anything, but 10 minutes later she whispered 'yeah, there's 12 of them.  They did this together.'  She was satisfied by the ending and felt good about figuring it out, but honestly...the clues are readily apparent to even the most casual viewer and the ending is completely telegraphed. 

 

 

 

 

Arrgh!  I can't believe I missed that, I was trying to pay attention too. 

post #90 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 


I'm on board for it.  Let's get Miss Marple cast immediately.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth View Post
 

 

Helen Mirren.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Belloq87 View Post
 


I like it.

 

Or age-up Emma Thompson about 10 years.  For the Branagh connection!

 

Meryl Streep

post #91 of 135

This was such a pleasant little movie.  Just a straight down the middle solid adaptation filled with nice performances.  I agree Depp was better than we've seen him in a long while and I'd welcome more Branaugh-Poirot films. 

 

There was some discussion further back about Daisy Ridley's performance.  I was divided on it myself.  I thought she was really great in the beginning of her first interrogation scene when she's bantering with Poirot and calling out his investigative techniques.  It was nice to see someone challenge him on that level and she was great at it.  Once she settled into being mopey/sad/tortured by her secrets, the performance fell off quite a bit.  Ridley seems to be at her best when she's paying lively, energetic characters that play up her natural charm. 

post #92 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrSaxon View Post
 

Meryl Streep

I think we already saw what her Marple performance might look like in THE IRON LADY.  Blech.  I'm having none of it, sir!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superlaser View Post
 

There was some discussion further back about Daisy Ridley's performance.  I was divided on it myself.  I thought she was really great in the beginning of her first interrogation scene when she's bantering with Poirot and calling out his investigative techniques.  It was nice to see someone challenge him on that level and she was great at it.  Once she settled into being mopey/sad/tortured by her secrets, the performance fell off quite a bit.  Ridley seems to be at her best when she's paying lively, energetic characters that play up her natural charm. 

Daisy Ridley is fine in the movie... but no more than that.  You're right that her best moments are the ones where she's a bit lighter and showing some spirit, rather than the ones where she's at odds with Poirot or trying to deliberately mislead him.  She's such an appealing screen presence that the more sober beats with her don't fully land like they might have with a somewhat more seasoned performer.

 

But I don't think that really detracts from the movie in any way.

post #93 of 135

The film doesn't exactly do Ridley any favors by interrupting the scene where Poirot's trying to get her to confess for the fight scene w/ Arbuthnot, and the whole element of Mary having been the planner gets dropped by the wayside after that.

post #94 of 135

Hell, forget a Christie Cinematic Universe, l want a Murder By Death reboot.

post #95 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dent6084 View Post
 

The film doesn't exactly do Ridley any favors by interrupting the scene where Poirot's trying to get her to confess for the fight scene w/ Arbuthnot, and the whole element of Mary having been the planner gets dropped by the wayside after that.

Yeah, some of that stuff is a little wonky, but a minor issue.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson View Post
 

Hell, forget a Christie Cinematic Universe, l want a Murder By Death reboot.

I'd be all over that.  One of the most underrated comedies of all time.

post #96 of 135

I've been listening to Patrick Doyle's score tonight, and I really think it's one of my favorites of the year.  I know I criticized the spotting during the resolution of the mystery, but damn... it's one hell of a gorgeous cue on its own...

 

post #97 of 135

Belloq covered just about all of my thoughts, having seen it last night. Had a good deal of fun with it. Seeing the Sidney Lumet-directed film and reading the Agatha Christie story once again set it up for disappointment but I wasn't. The cinematography, production design, art direction, all of that is sumptuous. 

 

It's a touch slight in how it feels. I was almost surprised when it was clearly entering the final act because it honestly does skip around so furiously. We get morsels and morsels of each fine thespian here but no one is allowed to stand out beyond Kenneth Branagh. Johnny Depp does leave a fine impression, though. Daisy Ridley is all right. A touch off perhaps in her final confrontation with Branagh's Poirot. Thought Judi Dench was quite effective as "The Princess." As others have mentioned, Willem Dafoe made the most of a small part. Loved the "reveal" scene involving he and Poirot. Josh Gad gives a fine performance, too. He seems to be flying under the radar for many. Michelle Pfeiffer is adequate but somewhat overpraised; she has a rather juicy part but it feels familiar. Penelope Cruz is fine with what she has; in fact her subtle touches were among the highlights for me.

 

What works against the film in a major way and what truly holds it back, in my view, was already covered by Belloq: we lose the immediacy and intimacy and claustrophobia of being stuck on this train with these people. It'd be a bit like the jurors in 12 Angry Men escaping that jury room away from the courtroom. An immediate deflating of tension. However, the staging of Poirot confronting all of the passengers at the end was rather splendid, so I'll admit that even with this flaw in consideration, there was much good spawned from Branagh's choices.

 

Enjoyed it, happy I saw it, would see a sequel next month were one to appear, but it could have been better. A diverting potboiler with a lively all-star cast and terrific production values.

post #98 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by NoirHeaven View Post

It's a touch slight in how it feels. I was almost surprised when it was clearly entering the final act because it honestly does skip around so furiously. We get morsels and morsels of each fine thespian here but no one is allowed to stand out beyond Kenneth Branagh.

I agree with most of your post but especially this. I’m not familiar enough with the full Poirot catelogue to suggest anything in particular (the only Christie I’ve only actually read is And Then There We’re None), but I’d love to see something with a more focused set of characters or a singular rival for Poirot ala Moriarty/Sherlock.
post #99 of 135

The big cast of suspects is pretty par for the course with Christie, though in MURDER's case, it's actually integral to the plot.  Having so many characters can obviously be a challenge, but I think the ensemble-ness of it all is part of the appeal both for the actors (who don't have to shoulder an entire film on their own) and the audience (who gets to watch a bunch of terrific performers each get their own little moments).

 

Could the movie have used another 20 minutes to let some of the roles breathe a bit more?  Certainly.  But I think all the actors make the most of what they're given.

post #100 of 135
I'm glad this worked for you guys, but I found it unforgivably corny, and man alive was that score confident in its own importance. The scene where Poirot is screaming his head off for somebody to kill him while the soundtrack swells devoutly had me wishing Michelle Pfeiffer would shoot me instead.

The visuals were sumptuous and the cast was good, but I didn't walk away thinking this was particularly successful as a whodunit or a drama. Who was I supposed to invest in? Poirot was amusing but certainly no source of pathos, and the motivation of the passengers lacked gravity because it was established in gimmick-like flashbacks. I can't think of one emotional beat that lands because they are all so ham-fisted. I felt oddly condescended to by the end.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Focused Film Discussion
CHUD.com Community › Forums › THE MAIN SEWER › Focused Film Discussion › MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017) - Post Release Thread