Murder on the Orient Express (2017)
Kenneth Branagh's remake of Agatha Christie's classic, which was last given a theatrical release with a successful and critically acclaimed 1974 version by Sidney Lumet, is a lavish spectacle with great production values and a stellar cast. Branagh has also taken it upon himself to embody Hercule Poirot, and he nails both the look, the sound and the mannerisms of the famous detective. The first part of the film is atmospheric and instigative, as we embark upon this exciting journey together with a motley crew of characters. And this is where it all starts floundering, because Branagh grows too fond of his own character for the other characters to really come to life. They remain two-dimensional and fleeting, not helped by the uneven editing from a narrative point of view. The result is that the denouement, which is supposed to be the pinnacle of any Hercule Poirot story, feels scurried and academic. The film looks great and has the outlines of a great, classic detective story, but alas falls short at the most crucial moments..