Review: Murder On The Orient Express (2017)

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Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery receives a star-studded if dreary update, directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also takes on the lead role of Hercule Poirot. The detective, on his way to London to solve another case, finds himself embroiled in an unexpected murder – one that takes place on the very train he’s travelling on. Each and every passenger is a suspect, most of whom are played by A-list talent dressed up but without the dialogue, including Judi Dench, Penélope Cruz and Josh Gad. Michelle Pfeiffer, along with Johnny Depp as the casualty Mr Ratchett, by far has the showiest role outside of Branagh’s interpretation of Poirot – and realises all her lines. The script tweaks the story somewhat, adding a number of twists, but not in a way that proves wholly absorbing. Instead, like its period adornments (the production design is exquisitely presenter and detailed), it’s all rather old school, and the final act is scuppered altogether, ensuring the film ends on a whimper rather than a bang.

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