“Murder on the Orient Express” Balances Mystery, Murder, and Comedy

Director Kenneth Branagh and writer Michael Green have delivered a gem in Murder on the Orient Express. You will immediately fall in love with this style of writing and production. One that reminds me of the clever subtleties of a Cohen Bros. film or a haughty exchange between Niles and Frasier.

What starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. From the novel by best-selling author Agatha Christie,  the story tells of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again. The film boasts an all-star cast including Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad.

While the trailer takes a more serious approach to explaining the film’s content, there is far more to experience than the YouTube clip lets on. The amount of comedy, both crude and intelligent, that is riddled throughout the story made this 114 minutes of pure enjoyment.

What should’ve been a lofty ride across Europe turned into in a murder mystery after the train derails because of an avalanche in the dead of night. During this time, a shady art dealer named Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) was murdered and nobody seems to know what happened. In turn, everyone on the train becomes a suspect and boy are there some shady characters onboard!

Luckily for the passengers, the world’s greatest detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is onboard and ready to accept the challenge… With the right proposition (he is French you know).

It’s the “Who dun it?!” of Who dun it’s and it’s in theaters today. I give Murder on the Orient Express an 8.5 out of 10. At certain points, you’ll feel like you’re playing a real-life version of “Clue,” but that’s what makes the film so much fun. With the diversity of the cast, the different backstories, and how they all come together is a true sight to experience. With a PG-13 rating and just under two hours in runtime, any age will be able to enjoy this.

 

-Jon J.

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