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Murder On The Orient Express Blu-ray Review


“Murder On The Orient Express” is a sluggish ride.

Kenneth Branagh takes on triple duties as a producer, star and director of this new adaptation of famed author Agatha Christie’s iconic novel. For those that aren’t aware of the story of “Murder On The Orient Express,” it follows the brilliant Belgian Detective Hercule Poirot who must solve the mysterious murder of a gangster (Ratchett) while on board the titular train. Alas, the case is not so cut and dry as literally everyone is a suspect.

Does the world need yet another version of “Murder On The Orient Express?” If this 2017 film is any indication, the answer is an emphatic no. Instead of being a fresh retelling of the classic whodunit, this take feels more like a vanity piece for Kenneth Branagh. As mentioned above, he has three roles in this film and he definitely seems to be doing too much here. While his direction of this lavish spectacle is competent, he should not have cast himself as Poirot. Between his ridiculous accent and the truly awful and distracting facial hair he sports, his entire performance comes off as cartoony. He’s simply not right for this role even though we all know he is a extraordinary actor.

Another glaring issue is that the script by Michael Green just feels mediocre from start to finish. Unless you’re a murder mystery lover or an Agatha Christie fan (although I’d imagine many fans are fuming over this version), ‘Express’ comes across as a nearly lifeless talky bore. If you’re familiar with the tale, you already know what will happen and have likely seen the story told better on the screen or on the page. If you’re not familiar with the story, you may find that it’s a long arduous journey that lacks punch.

One thing that everyone can agree on is that the film has a cast one for the ages as it includes the likes of Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom, Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Penelope Cruz, Derek Jacobi, and the aforementioned Kenneth Branagh. Unfortunately, I wouldn’t necessarily say anyone really stands out as their roles are rather limited. If I had to single anyone out, I’d say Daisy Ridley and Josh Gad make the biggest impression as we were able to see more of their acting range.


Presentation: 2.39:1 1080p. How does it look? I have no complaints with the transfer here. It’s crystal clear.

Audio Track: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This 7.1 track is both exquisite and layered. Fans of the film are sure to be pleased.

Extras: DVD copy, Digital copy, “Murder On The Orient Express” trailers, still gallery, 13 deleted scenes with optional commentary by Kenneth Branagh and Michael Green, a featurette on the score titled “Music Of Murder,” an involving behind-the-scenes featurette titled “All Aboard: Filming Murder On The Orient Express,” a sort of all-encompassing featurette on the production/crew of the film called “The Art Of Murder,” a piece on the history of the Poirot character named “Let’s Talk About Hercule Poirot,” an extra about the legendary author titled “Agatha Christie: An Intimate Portrait,” the 3 part “Unusual Suspects” series of extras about the cast and their characters, and a dry but insightful commentary by Kenneth Branagh and writer Michael Green.

February 27, 2018 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , ,

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