Ian's Movie Reviews
Short Reviews of Movies, Board Games, and Other Stuff

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient express is a remake of the classic film based on the classic Agatha Christie novel.  And they do a good job of making it feel old-fashioned.  There’s a certain, nebulous “murder mystery” feel that this new film is able to capture, and because of that I enjoyed it quite a lot.  The fact that the movie is almost entirely set on a train really adds to this nostalgic idea it has.  Trains are cool; characters are in a closed location which has enough geography to allow for privacy and publicity in equal measure when needed.  They are effective movie locations.

As such, we have a large cast of characters stuck on this train, each one of them a murder suspect for the titular crime.  This allows for a lot of fun performances, like Michelle Pfieffer playing a desperate for love divorcee, Daisy Ridley looking cute, Judy Dench playing a mean, old princess, and the snowman from Frozen.  And then of course there is Kenneth Branaugh as the lead, Hercule Poirot.  His character is a lot of fun, and he has clearly made a bold challenge towards Mr. Tom Selleck.

Now, having said that this movie feels old-fashioned, that’s not always the case.  In fact, I would say that one of the film’s biggest flaws is when it tries to modernize the story which a few shoehorned action sequences.  None of them are particularly interesting as action scenes, and they were clearly added to satiate “modern audiences”.

Having seen the original, I was hoping they would change the ending to this film so that there would still be a mystery there for me.  Of course they weren’t going to do that; I am sure most people who go see this will not have seen or not remember the 1970’s version.  But looking back, the ending they have is really the only one that works.  An enjoyable mainstream movie that offers general audiences something different than the current blockbuster fare.


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