Movie Review: “Murder​ On​ The​ ​Orient​ ​Express”​ Is​ ​Disorienting​ And​ ​Disappointingly​ ​Dull

“The​ ​film​ ​itself​ ​is​ ​a​ ​beautiful​ ​display​ ​of​ ​all​ ​of​ ​the​ ​nostalgia​ ​and​ ​luxury​ ​of​ ​the​ ​early​ ​20th​ ​century,​ ​the romance,​ ​the​ ​sensuality,​ ​the​ ​adventure,​ ​the​ ​brilliance.”


 

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.

The story originates from Agatha Christie’s novel, published in 1934. Then, 40 years later, the novel is first adapted to film and is now thought to be “one of the best cinematic adaptations of Christie’s work ever.” And today is the release of the latest film adaptation of the story.

A world-famous detective, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh, also director), whose name no one can pronounce, is traveling on the Orient Express. (He’s traveling to London from Istanbul, but that’s hardly relevant to the plot, except that it’s interesting to note that the trip is approximately 30 hours to drive by car.) The train is seemingly full of strangers, people who barely tolerate one another due to one bias or another. All is going according to the travel itinerary, when suddenly, in the middle of the night, an avalanche of snow derails the engine and leaves the train cars precariously suspended on a decrepit trestle until the repair crew can arrive to dig them out.

However, it is soon discovered that, in the middle of the mayhem, there was also a murder, albeit of a rather unsavory character, Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp). Poirot is beseeched for his services and the rest of the film is of him ascertaining the culprit or culprits. In his brilliance, he quickly connects the murder victim to the true identity of the kidnapper and killer of a 3-year-old heiress, Daisy Armstrong…and what unfolds is so perfectly conniving that it is implausible. Every single person on the train is somehow connected to the Daisy Armstrong case, even Poirot himself as Daisy’s father, John Armstrong, had written him at the time, pleading for his aid in the case.

The film itself is a beautiful display of all of the nostalgia and luxury of the early 20th century, the romance, the sensuality, the adventure, the brilliance. Poirot’s mustache is perfectly on point and the train setting will make you long for cinnamon cakes, a snifter of brandy, and silver placed at each dinner plate with exacting precision. Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Josh Gad, Judi Dench, and Derek Jacobi will comfort you with their familiar faces and antics. Beyond that, unfortunately, I was sorely disappointed by the lack of intrigue coupled with the grandiose effort of revenge. My opinion is that this story would be much better suited for theater than of a film.

Now playing in theaters


 

Jeanne Antoinette

Raised in the gypsy wanderings of two ex-Mennonites who dared to question traditional thought, Jeanne continues her family legacy – usually by asking [too] many questions and constantly exploring outside the box. She has lived in 11 states and has 11 college transcripts, which humorously combine to make her seem overqualified, but also minimally credentialed. She loves libraries, linguistics, singing, and of course, writing. Her passion, at its core, is about communication and connection through storytelling. Jeanne is currently practicing the art of “staying” in San Antonio, along with her two children.

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