Murder On The Orient Express! Murder! Trains! Stars!
Murder On The Orient Express was originally a novel by the fantastic author, Agathe Christe. The story involves a number of random strangers who all board a train and during the journey a murder occurs. Everyone seems innocent and it is up to the great detective, Hercule Poirot played by Kenneth Branagh to determine who the murderer is. This film is packed with so many talented actors and actresses and had incredible aesthetics but was it enough?
As I mentioned before, Murder On The Orient Express is a murder mystery that takes place almost entirely on the train. Thanks to old friendships and a much needed favor, the owner of the train grants Hercule passage. He soon discovers the train is filled with unique individuals from various backgrounds. Some are royalty, others criminals, entrepreneurs, doctors and more. During a night like any other a murder takes place and the owner of the train begs the veteran detective to find the assailant.
The hardest aspect of the investigation is that they are all so innocent and yet dirty at the same time.
I was blown away by the star power in this film. Just to name a few, this film includes Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Penélope Cruz, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp and more. I took the briefest of glances at the advertising material and had no idea I would be smothered in such talent. Every character was quirky and unique which was only amplified by their actors. I had a lot of fun watching Johnny Depp be a paranoid gangster, Daisy Ridley be the seemingly innocent beauty, Penelope Cruz be a religious zealot etc.
Above all else the best actor in this film was Kenneth Branagh who played detective Hercule Poirot. The detective had the most quirks of requiring every single aspect to be perfect otherwise it would annoy him. As he investigated, more quirks came to light and he did well to balance being a complete gentlemen while also speaking his mind, no matter how brash it might be. I could continue watching films including his character as I waited on baited breath to wonder what would leave his mouth next.
I was impressed by the camera work of Murder On The Orient Express. They had to get creative in order to capture the crampt feeling of the train by filming outside of it, being in the hallway, or hovering above them. Scenes where the camera followed behind him ever so slightly were my favorite as it created a sense of anxiety as you wanted nothing more than to capture what the character did but could not.
The Big Reveal
All mysteries have to eventually come to an end and be revealed to the viewer. While I will not reveal anything, I will say that I could tell the answer at the beginning of the film but it did not quite make sense until the film climaxed and the dots were connected. While this mystery was not the hardest of riddles, it still caused a few surprises and head scratches. I never felt cheated by any scenes, although some were cheesier than others but then again it just added to the charm of the film.
Murder On The Orient Express was good! It was not great though, I could see myself watching this film on cable tv and sticking around for a while before turning the channel. The strongest aspects of the film was no doubt the high quality actors, the camera work, and the setting itself. It was a fun film to watch but nothing too memorable. If they made a sequel I would absolutely watch it but would not rush to see it. I recommend this film to anyone who enjoys watching high profile actors attempt to solve a murder mystery set on a train in the olden times!