Saturday 25 November 2017

Murder on the Orient Express movie review: 'A handsome but sedately paced production'

★★★

(12A, 114mins)

Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express

Paul Whitington

In Kenneth Branagh's Murder On The Orient Express, a gang of famous actors crowd their way on to the luxurious choo-choo, where one of them will shortly be bumped off.

It's a familiar formula, trotted out in many other Agatha Christie-inspired TV dramas and movies.

And, in fact, a very creditable David Suchet TV version of Orient Express was released as recently as 2010. Why make it again? For money perhaps, although I'm not sure how many people are going to go and see this handsome but sedately paced production.

Branagh, sporting a terrifying pair of gummed-on moustaches, is Hercule Poirot, the 1920s Belgian sleuth who boards the famous train in Istanbul expecting a restful journey. But when a shady art dealer called Ratchett (Johnny Depp) is found dead in his room, suspects abound in the sleek dining car.

Michelle Pfeiffer, Penelope Cruz, Josh Gad, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley - this train positively teems with mildly overacting thespians, and all enter into the spirit of this snug and watchable piece of period silliness with aplomb. They're on a train, it's snowing outside - what's not to like?

Irish Independent

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