Review: Murder on the Orient Express, eminently watchable but too many flaws to be a classic

PUBLISHED: 10:08 18 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:08 18 December 2017

Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express

Kenneth Branagh in Murder on the Orient Express

Archant

World famous detective, Hercule Poirot gets a big screen makeover in this all-star adaptation of the classic Agatha Christie novel.

This is directed by and stars Kenneth Branagh, who plays the moustachioed sleuth himself.

While taking a well-deserved break aboard the Orient express, Poirot’s holiday plans are disrupted when the train is caught in a snowdrift and a passenger is found brutally murdered in their cabin.

With the authorities days away, it is up to the detective to identify the killer before they have the chance to strike again.

The all star cast assembled here includes Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfieffer, Daisy Ridley and Willem Dafoe, as well as Dame Judi Dench as the cantankerous Russian Princess Dragomiroff.

Branagh himself has great fun with the role of Poirot, sporting a ridiculously overblown moustache and delivering the detective’s trademark accent with relish.

Poirot’s quirky eccentricities make for some amusing moments and the film works best when the tone is light, however the darker overarching plot seems at odds with the rest of the film and it results in a slightly confused overall tone.

Michelle Pfieffer is excellent as Mrs Caroline Hubbard and appears to be in the midst of a career renaissance, however the sheer volume of characters in the story means some of the stellar cast are underserved. Olivia Coleman and Penelope Cruz are particularly short changed by the script.

The work of Cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos deserves credit, as the the film itself looks great and Branagh adds some inventive directorial flair to scenes inside the claustrophobic train.

Although faithful to the novel, the finale is particularly convoluted.

A much simpler conclusion would no doubt have suited the film more.

To make such a familiar story worth revisiting was always going to be a tall order, but Branagh brings a wealth of experience to the project.

Despite a rather ordinary script and the inconsistent tone, the film has an endearingly old fashioned quality to it.

Ultimately Murder on the Orient Express has too many flaws to be a classic, but the lovingly crafted visuals and exceptional cast make it eminently watchable.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ely Standard visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ely Standard staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ely Standard account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More news stories

A lottery set up and run by Cambridgeshire County Council could boost income for many deserving local causes, says a report to a county council committee next Tuesday.

12:56

Bemused residents – fed up with years of watching their bus shelters fall into disrepair – claim that no one is claiming responsibility for maintaining them.

Armed robbers demanded customers and staff lie on the floor of a village shop yesterday before fleeing with £8,000 worth of stock and cash.

17:25

Police would like to speak to a man in connection with a ‘sexually motivated’ incident in Cambridge on New Years Day.

Most read stories

Most commented stories

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Ely Standard e-edition E-edition
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter