The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Review: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ plays into expectations

Murder on the Orient Express review

I went into “Murder on the Orient Express” with very few expectations.

Even without expectations, there were disappointing aspects of the movie.

This movie has an all-star cast, including legends like Johnny Depp and Judi Dench and relative newcomers like Daisy Riddley and Josh Gad, but sadly it felt like only half the cast was having fun through most of this movie. There are a few actors and actresses in this movie you can tell are having fun with it, but everyone else just fades into the background, which should not be the case in such a character-driven movie.

Another fault of the movie is viewers go into it expecting a twist, which makes this twist far less interesting. 

It is hard to see any murder-mystery film these days and not expect a twist of some kind, but the expectation of twists subverts any tension the movie is trying to build throughout the movie. 

You know the first few plausible answers cannot be the true answer, because there has to be a twist somewhere at the end. By doing this, the movie slowly writes itself into a corner.

I will give the movie some credit for its ending, which left me somewhat satisfied. I applaud the way they got themselves out of their corner, even if the answer does seem a little far-fetched. 

I also have a problem with the character arch of Hercule Poirot, the protagonist played by Kenneth Branaugh. 

The movie does not set up this character like they should have. The end of the movie shows his struggle with the nature of justice, and his new realization carries no weight to it because they did not set up his character well enough in the beginning of the movie. They also pull a cheap stunt to make you care about him which seems completely forced and almost annoying. 

There are also a few stylistic choices the movie makes which seem unnecessary. There is a certain camera angle they use a few times during the film which feels out of place and does not serve much of a purpose. It takes you completely out of the movie. I am all for creative shots, but this just felt awkward and unnecessary. 

If you had to make me choose a bright spot in this film, it would easily be the conductor Bouc, played by Tom Bateman. He was easily my favorite part of the movie. Every time he was on screen, I wanted to see more of him. You can tell he is having fun, and is consequently fun to watch. 

Other than a fun introduction and a mostly satisfying ending, the rest of the movie is kind of a snooze. There is zero tension throughout, and I did not care about any of the characters. It all felt flat. 

This movie is not worth your money in the theatre. I even hesitate to recommend it once it is on Pay Per View or Amazon. I believe in a week’s time, I will forget I even saw this movie. 

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
Review: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ plays into expectations