a MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS (2017) musing
Edgar Wright’s comments about the inspirations for (my favorite movie ever) HOT FUZZ led to my discovery of the 1974 film, of which this remake is based on. An adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel, the original movie became a staple of murder mystery theater. With a star-studded cast, the 2017 version has no problem being super silly and a little all over the place. MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS also becomes less engaging when resorting to action set pieces instead of letting the mystery drive the drama. The biggest issues are the imbalance of the tones it juggles and badly written dialogue.
The movie is directed and shot beautifully, with Branagh exploring different spaces as he questions each of the cast. Gorgeous cinematography of vistas and one-take shots made me fall in love with the movie. (Give me a good oner, and I’ll at the very least respect it. Give me three great oners, and I’m hooked.) Pacing is not a problem here, as the movie chugs along; only the chunky dialogue slightly derails it at points. The wonderful cast, the main engine of the movie, does their best to give the dialogue some gravitas, but it only adds to the silliness of those moments. The script tries to throw in social commentary, which didn’t work for me.
ORIENT EXPRESS is an exquisitely made movie, at its best when exploring the mystery and using the camera in visually interesting ways. With the boarding of the train oner and post-murder investigation bird’s eye view shots cementing my love for the filmmaking, it’s a bit disappointing that this is so close to being a perfect movie.
RATING: PURCHASING FOR MY COLLECTION
(Refer to my rating system HERE!)