Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Kenneth Branagh

Murder on the Orient Express (2017), Kenneth Branagh
I’m sleeping here where everyone can see me. And I can see everyone.
— Miss Mary Debenham, Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Stars: Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz, Leslie Odom Jr., Daisy Ridley, Tom Bateman, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Sergei Polunin.
Director: Kenneth Branagh
Screenplay: Michael Green

Predictable, over acted, over stylised which no substance to hold it all together. A blah film with too many bit characters to make you care for the internal mystery. However Kenneth Branagh is in his element as detective Hercule Poirot which keeps you at least entertained while he is monologuing onscreen. 

The classic Agatha Christie tale of a murder on a train should keep you excited and on your feet as Poirot pieces the evidence together. The first introduction of his whimsy happens in Jerusalem; it is interesting because we are not needed to care for the suspects involved. Watching Poirot do his thang is brilliant when watching from afar and enjoying the set up. But the second we are introduced to our new suspects takes the films whimsy into a clumsy tunnel that wastes the talents of its extensive cast.

First massive mistake—I am so, so sorry to bag on you Daisy....—is the casting of Daisy Ridley. She is not the best choice nor even your last choice. An even better choice would have been her sides held up to the screen as it may have been less cringy. I love Daisy in other roles but here she is wooden, but it certainly can't be her entire fault, the direction for her from Branagh may have something to do with it.

It is also hard to care for the victim as at the moment. Depp while playing the villain suits him perfectly, the narrative around his character has tainted even this perfect role which means the investigation feels a little lac lustre. 

A messy film that has elements of greatness, mostly coming from Branagh, Josh Gad, and Tom Bateman. These three bring life to their characters, I would love to hang around these three for the entire film. But alas this film was not made to be the best film of all time but I wish they had at least aimed for better than mediocre. 

★ ★