Murder on the Orient Express (2017)

Reviewed
Tue. 12/5/17
Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
2.3333333333333
Acting
2.5
2.5/5
Morality
3
3/5
Music
3
3/5
Story
1
1/5
Visuals
3.5
3.5/5
Kernel Factor
1
1/5
Choo-Choo-Choo-Choo-No-No!
Reviewed By: Steven Siwek
Viewing Environment:
Theater
Viewing Crew:
Myself
Times Watched:
1
Genre:
Drama
Payment Method:
MoviePass
Review:

Okay, so I'm the guy who has never seen the original movie nor have I read the book, so I will probably sound ignorant in some of my comments about the actual story. Let me start by saying a mystery film gets me almost every time. I love the big reveal in mysteries and I love watching how a mystery film goes about replaying that reveal. I also particuarly loved the marketing and style of Murder on the Orient Express. As with most movies I watch, I only watched the trailer and I didn't read and/or watch any insider thoughts/opinions on the film in order to keep my viewing experience pure. I give all that context to say I was in for the let-down of the year with this film. Holy smokes. The biggest problem? It's all in the reveal. The "reveal" in this movie is...cute. Clearly, to me, this book was written in a time where evil/murder was more fantasized than experienced either through real life connections or just by turning on the nightly news.  

Acting
You can't say they didn't try. Kenneth Branagh's lead character is barely undertandable in a few scenes, and he certainly dominates the screen, sometimes to a fault. Some of the characters are "suspects" but they get about 2-minutes (maybe) of screen time. I'm pretty sure he didn't interrogate a couple people who I was actually thinking may have done it. There was seriously no time for character development and with such a great cast - which I love the idea of gathering this set of actors - but none of them get enough screen time for you to feel very invested in any of them (besides Kenneth). 
Morality
Well, someone is murdered but we all knew that was going to happen and supposedly their murder is "for a good cause" so I guess that means it's a 3/5.
Music
It's good, but I lost hope in this entire movie in the third act, so everything got worse for me.
Story
There are more plot holes than I can comment on and if I wrote them here it would give away too much of the movie. Let's just say something that annoys me in movies is when people get seriously wounded, but they essentially brush it off as a "mere flesh wound." This movie does that like few I've ever seen, and it's so annoying. I can tell you that if the original book/movie have the same ending as this film, which I would imagine they do, I won't like those either. The "reveal/ending" is just fluffy. It doesn't work, especially nowadays. I would have strongly encouraged creative license be taken here to make it feel more edgy and truly incorporate "mystery."
Visuals
Feels very green-screeny on the larger scenes, but the interior of the train and entire art department crushed it. Interesting angles were employed. I liked the overhead shots, but man we got a lot of closeups on Kenneth, but I guess you're forced to do some unique angles when filming on an actual train.
Kernel Factor
I was in a nearly sold-out theater (Tuesday's are $5 movie night in Boise), and there was a palpable feeling of everyone being let-down. I can assure you if my theater aggregated their score it would have weighed out worse than what I'm rating this movie. There were audible long sighs when the movie was over and people quickly left. The movie sort of sets you up well and then just gives you a nothing answer to the murder.
 


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