'Murder on the Orient Express'

Murder On The Orient Express

The 56-year-old actor, who portrays Detective Hercule Poirot in the mystery film, has admitted to get into character he had to plunge a knife into the organs of deceased creatures to help him understand murder is not a game but a "mechanical act".

Murder on the Orient Express review by Paul Heath.

We are introduced to Branagh's new Poirot at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem where he is wrapping up a case involving a priest, a rabbi and an imam - a new prologue created by Green specifically for this movie. Along with Poirot, a dozen strangers board the sumptuous train in Istanbul, heading for Calais.

Joining him on his journey through wintery climbs up to Paris are a bunch of very different passengers, including shadowy art dealer Samuel Ratchett (Johnny Depp) who nearly immediately proposes a business deal to Poirot as he boards - the opportunity to be his personal bodyguard on the three-day trip north. Poirot politely declines over some coffee and cake, preferring to enjoy his "holiday" and tuck up with some Dickens in his cabin.

Other suspects at the Royal Albert Hall included home-grown stars Dame Judi Dench, Sir Derek Jacobi, Olivia Colman and Daisy Ridley.

Writing for The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy says Branagh "has delivered a version of Agatha Christie's 1934 murder-on-a-train mystery gem that may not be as starry but is snappier than the highly successful 1974 outing", though he was a bit confused as to why the director opted to shoot the film on 65mm considering most of the movie takes place in "cramped interior settings".

However, I still reckon the Suchet TV version can't be bettered. There is a killer on board and a carriage full of likely suspects.

When we think of murder, we rarely consider those cold mechanics.

Could it be the deceased's assistant Hector MacQueen (Josh Gad)?

Directed by Kenneth Branagh, with a screenplay from Michael Green based on the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express is an all-star affair with a cast to die-for.

As we roll towards our obvious conclusion there's nothing massively damaging to hurt this ample retelling of the vintage tale, but there's nothing new brought to the table either.

Begin the journey at Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in Belgravia, an area that was once the start of the Orient Express line, where crime-fiction lovers will be given a Turkish "evil eye" charm to ward off evil and a copy of the Murder on the Orient Express book from the nearby Belgravia Books. And it turns out that one of the dozen has been murdered in their own compartment.



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