I’ve heard rumours that the Quixotic editors are planning on watching the latest film adaption of Agatha Christie’s Poirot novels, so I will do my best to keep this review spoiler free! (Editorial note; Thank you Reece!)
One thing I will have to spoil however is that this film is not as great as the TV series starring David Suchet associated with Poirot.
Whilst Kenneth Brannagh’s performance and direction as the Belgian detective was perfectly fine, he had the charm and annoying pedantic actions without actually being annoying of his predecessor nailed down, something just didn’t seem Poirot enough.
It starts well enough, the detective typically solves a case introducing the audience to his quirky nature and crime solving methods. We’re then introduced to the ensemble cast of the passengers of the Orient Express.
Johnny Depp plays a shady businessman, Josh Gad is his assistant, Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley is a governess whilst Willem Dafoe is a professor. Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, Derek Jacobi and Olivia Coleman among others make up the rest of the star studded commuters.
The confined space of the train carriage coupled with the awkward coversations between the travelers created more than enough tension and mystery as we approached the murder.
When the murder does happen, Poirot declares the train a crime scene and then goes about identifying who is responsible.
This is where the film lacks something for me, there wasn’t a moment where Poirot found a clue or revealed a motive that made me gasp the way the TV series used to, it was a little too simple or obvious at times. No one in the cinema, not even the guys wearing Big Bang Theory shirts seemed shocked by the big reveal at the end.
For me this adaption was a little too Hollywood. Whilst the big budget meant lovely visuals of the snowy mountains and vintage trains, coupled with the box office cast, it’s style took away a lot of the thinking for the audience.
I don’t particularly mind a whodunit? without too much to get my head around. I quite enjoy a simple popcorn murder mystery but this is Hercule Poirot, the best detective in the world and I expected a little more.
Not sure on watching it still? Here’s the trailer to get you warmed up!