‘Murder On The Orient Express’ Movie Review: All-Star Cast Makes This Adaption A Joy Ride
Kenneth Branaugh‘s new adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder On The Orient Express is nothing if not lush. The from rich opening shots of a luxe Jerusalem hotel where we first meet crack detective Hercule Poirot (played by Branagh) driving waiters batty with his insistence that his eggs be perfectly formed to the grand cabins of the Orient Express, viewers are treated to a first-class visual spectacle. Poirot is a man obsessed with order and perfection. This attention to detail is what makes him, in his own estimation, “the world’s greatest detective.”
Summoned back to London, he is invited by the son of the owner of the Orient Express to travel on his legendary train. On board, we are introduced to the all-star cast – the Princess (Judi Dench), the gangster Rachett (Johnny Depp), the ingenue (Daisy Ridely) and the American aristocrat (Michelle Pfeiffer). Rachett believes he is being hunted by the mob and implores Poirot to take his case, an offer our detective summarily rejects. This fourth film adaptation of Christie’s novel hurtles along with the train until avalanche stops it in its tracks. We soon learn that Rachett has been murdered and – guess what – everyone on board is a suspect.
Though it is somewhat distracting that nearly every character is a notable Hollywood star (even bit roles like the consort of the Countess went to famed ballet badboy Sergei Polunin, the crackling chemistry between cast members is palpable. The plot of the Christie novel is arguably the worst aspect of the film – as it slowly unravels jaded audiences will surely emit groans. Still, though some will find the story a bit corny for current tastes, the star power alone makes this Orient Express a pleasant joy ride.