Branagh’s “Murder on the Orient Express” is a Rote Dumbing-Down of the Classic Whodunit

Based on the Agatha Christie mystery novel of the same name, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express disappoints by relegating the key elements of the mystery genre to mere mundane repetition.  All of the hard-boiled fun of Christie’s source material ends up feeling like a bland paint-by-numbers.   The movie contains a star-studded cast, with practically every character involved in the whodunit represented through an admirable performance.  But for a film that is ostensibly subtle, intriguing, and mysterious, too little respect is paid to the details.  The result is a lukewarm mystery where each blasé piece of detection by the legendary Hercule Poirot only makes the ultimate reveal more tired and disappointing.

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