AS I’m writing this, Kenneth Branagh’s 2017 remake of Murder On The Orient Express is not exactly getting the best reviews, but I honestly think the film is a little better than people are giving it credit for. It’s no masterpiece, but I think it’s about on par with the original 1974 film, if not better.
The film has a very ‘old Hollywood’ feel to it. Now, I can understand why this might not appeal to casual moviegoers. But as a fan of classic films, I enjoyed it. That’s not to say that the film is without its faults. The second act does drag a little bit too long, and the structure of the film can get a little repetitive. I think your enjoyment of the film will greatly depend on whether or not you know the ending going in, which I did.
Kenneth Branagh is trying his best, both as an actor and as a director. And luckily for him, he has assembled a very impressive cast, which is crucial for getting this story to work. The entire ensemble is great, and they do an amazing job acting off of one another.
The film is very lavishly made. I can see this film potentially receiving Oscar attention in Production Design, Costume Design or even Original Song. However, the film doesn’t stand a chance in any of the ‘above the line’ categories’, and I don’t think it necessarily should. If you’re interested, you can check it out. But you should know it’s not going to be for everyone.
*** out of ****