McCann At The Movies: Missed Opportunity By Branagh Is Dreary Daytime Fare

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Our movie guy, John McCann, was far from impressed by ‘Murder On The Orient Express’…

Another week, another reboot, this remake however had in theory a lot of positives to look forward to. It contained an all star cast, solid and renowned source material and a director that has proven to be both flexible and consistent in the past.

Sadly however, in this instance, none of these potential redeeming features can cover up what was by and large, sleepy Sunday matinee fare at best!

The premise is set on what starts out as a lavish train ride through Europe which quickly unfolds into a stylish and suspenseful mystery.

Continued below…


Based on the novel by best-selling author Agatha Christie, “Murder on the Orient Express”, it tells the tale of 13 strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect and one man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Murder On The Orient Express.

Whereas Kenneth Branagh does a commendable job in his role as Hercules Poirot, he does not however hit the flamboyant and formidable heights of his talented predecessors such as Peter Ustinov and David Suchet.

The film at times does seem like a love letter to himself as he inevitably hogs the screen for large parts reducing the supporting cast to mere bystanders.

The horrendous CGI on show here also takes away from the films worth, as at times the background scenery seems so artificial that the train journey resembles something out of ‘The Polar Express’ rather than the Orient Express.

The talented cast seem to be dialling it in at times also at a pace that seems to drag to it’s inevitable near two hour conclusion.

There are some minor crumbs of comfort to be had however. Johnny Depp raises his game to a higher level than recent outings proving that with the right material and setting we may see him return to form soon.

This film is also a welcome change from the constant supply of comic book adaptations premiering every week in the local cinema.

Overall though, considering the cast, director and resources at the films disposal, whereas it may make for a pleasant unassuming daytime matinee feature it is nonetheless a glaring missed opportunity.


For more of John McCann’s movie reviews, check out his Facebook page here and website here

One Comment

  1. Adrienne McLoughlin says:

    Agree with the above movie review, disappointing, could have done with more “train action”.