Remember those unfunny bits that Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad did about Star Wars from the set of the movie they were filming last year? Well, that movie is now out called Murder on the Orient Express, which is a remake of the 1974 film under the same title. Set in the European Alps in the 1930s, several unsuspecting train passengers fall face first into a murder investigation when a shady American Businessman is found brutally stabbed to death on the train when they are stranded from their destination. It is up to the work of the World Greatest Detective, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) to solve the murder and catch the culprit before the train is fixed and he loses his suspects.
Sadly if you have watched the 1974 version, then you have once again already seen this one. The biggest problem here is that the detective work from Poirot is not terribly exciting and when you finally get the answer that you have waited for, it is a major cop-out which makes the entire set up feel like a waste of time, that is the feeling you are left with. The set pieces are outstanding, but the dialogue is just not interesting for a film that is 90% talking. When Poirot isn’t babbling on to make his case, the film tries to play to the racial undertones of 1930s Europe without truly understanding the region of the world they are in, to begin with.
Kenneth Branagh, who directed and starred here isn’t the problem, It’s everyone else. Poirot is an interesting character; he’s just in the wrong film. Perhaps it is at fault of Branagh, who himself has a lot of range, but didn’t give any of his ensemble cast much else to work with. All I can say about this film is that Murder on the Orient Express is a good Friday night rental but doesn’t offer much else.