I truly enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express. It is a perfect comfy sweater, warm fireplace or hot coco movie for the holidays.
It feels targeted for a family audience, in a good way. The color palate is more akin to a children's book than the bottom of your car. You aren’t going to see any glorified scenes of hyper violence or lewd conduct.
I went into Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation a complete neophyte, having not seen the 1974 movie nor am I familiar with any of Agatha Christie’s books. I am a huge fan of both Branagh and Scott Free Productions and they made for a very interesting mix on this production.
Murder on the Orient Express is witty, whimsical and incredibly detailed.
Branagh brings this wit that makes you chuckle and warm inside. It’s as if he carries around the bottled essence of friendship and you can smell it on his breath. Loved the first Thor for this very reason. The warriors three weren’t just merry and chummy they were cozy. Hercule Poirot, Kenneth plays the titular role, is a goofy curmudgeon, whose enigmatic nature make him impossibly magnetic. Much like all the other characters in the show you want to be around him more but you would likely annoy him.
Scott Free Productions brought some insane detail. An incredible amount of work went into making this period piece both in the tangible set design and CGI. Whenever I see their title card I know my eyes will be in for a treat.
I loved most of the character acting, although at times some of it could be as distracting as Hercule’s mustache. A bit of a spoiler, but, much of the slightly off acting could probably be explained by the nature of the mystery itself as it is incredibly layered. I can’t get enough Willem Dafoe or Michelle Pfeiffer and am always elated to see what they bring to a movie.
It probably won’t inspire multiple viewings but it is definitely a good time at the movies.