Murder on the Orient Express, 2017
Signed up the 28/03/2017
The Murder on the Orient Express script comes scribed by the 2017 Blade Runner writer, Michael Green. Judging from the triumphant transpose that is Blade Runner 2049 from the original film, we may be conclude that Green is indeed capable of adapting an older story for audiences today. This very fact begs the question of if Murder on the Orient Express is sure-fire enough a story to tell on screen outside of the novel it originates from.
This movie follows a world-renowned detective, Hercule Piorot, as he's faced with the duty of uncovering a murder on the luxurious train from Istanbul to Calais, named the Orient Express.
Going into the movie, having not seen the original, I was quite intrigued by the plot. A cat and mouse on a moving train where nobody could escape and everyone was to forced to cohabit with a murder until they arrived at their destination; that's if they lived long enough to. How exciting and intense, right?! Well, wrong. The movie turns out to be not so enticing as it is a nagging drag.
There isn't much to divulge in this movie except perhaps for some pretty cool shots of the Orient as it gracefully huffs and puffs through elevated railways under an enchanting blizzard. The lack of character-development burns the movie out before it can take off. The movie having one confined setting makes it an obvious bet that the movie's fate would rest on the shoulders of its characters. I guess it wasn't so obvious to the filmmakers because not even the lead has enough flare to propell our interest as an audience that is initially supposed to be at the edge of our seats all through this murder mystery.
Hercule Piorot reminds me of M. Gustave (The Grand Budapest Hotel) as he's fueled, animated and seems to be out of touch with humanity outside of his own little perfect world of flare and wonder where only things of the finest standard mattered. He is as much a drama queen as Edna Mode from The Incredibles, but lacks the dutiful and passionate haughtiness in his eye as he sniffs through scones and measures eggs in accordance to his extravagant taste. Piorot, though, does have some shining moments–assisted by that fuzzy, whiskered mustache that proves more interesting than the movie's star-studded cast–but they're quickly drowned by a crumbling, tasteless story.
I'd love to get into the rest of the cast, but there's really nothing to tell about any of these characters. They were shockingly underused, which left me with the question of why they'd need folk like Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench and Michelle Pfeiffer in the first place if their capacity as actors would not be used to benefit the narrative in the slightest.
What was supposed to be a glare-eyed toe-to-toe show-down between Piorot and the passengers of the luxury train never really rises up to the occassion. Interrogations fizzle down to a boring "I know you did it, but I'll play it cool for now because you might not be it", and it becomes a tedious practice after a while; sadly, this is the only play they have up their sleeves. Out of all the intriguing subplots that could've come out of this adaption of the movie, we're merely afforded a surface chase-down that can be summed up as a bland sorry excuse of taking cinema back to its roots.
Full disclosure, Murder on the Orient Express is a nicely packaged cargo of horsesh*t.
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