Death on the Nile
review by Bobby Blakey
In 2017 director Kenneth Branagh stepped not only directed but also took on the role of iconic detective Hercule Poirot in Murder on the Orient Express based on the classic novel from Agatha Christie. Thanks to the success of that entry he is back in both roles as director and star once again for Death on the Nile based on the 1937 Christie novel. Much like the last film it features an all-star cast including Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Rose Leslie, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo, Jennifer Saunders and Letitia Wright. Will this latest case be worth the trip down the river or will it be sunk before its solved?
Death on the Nile follows Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot’s Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer that turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short. Set against an epic landscape of sweeping desert vistas and the majestic Giza pyramids, this tale of unbridled passion and incapacitating jealousy features a cosmopolitan group of impeccably dressed travelers, and enough wicked twists and turns to leave audiences guessing until the final, shocking denouement.
I was never a big Agatha Christie fan, but really loved Murder on the Orient Express so was eager to see Branagh return to the character and this world. We don’t get enough of these classic murder mysteries so I am glad Branagh has decided to take on these classics. That being said this latest entry is another home run for the director and star bringing more intrigue and fun of Poirot to the forefront.
The cast is great across the board and it must be noted for those complaining about the inclusion of Armie Hammer after his alleged issues, this film was done long before that came out and he is an integral player so can’t be avoided. Love him or hate him he is good in the film and perfect in this kind of role. The rest of the cast are all great as well with each getting their time to shine. I loved seeing Russell Brand in a more toned straight laced role and he nails it. The real star is unsurprisingly Branagh who shines as Poirot once again. He is so compelling in the ingenious and sometimes awkward portrayal. This time around we even get a bit more backstory for him that wasn’t really necessary, but does bring more depth to him.
If I had any issues there are some of the background elements early on that you could kind of tell were CGI, but you can let it go. The backdrop is beautiful and creates its own character to place all these characters and death in front of and makes it something you enjoy seeing. I thought this was another great entry into the world of Poirot and Christie’s writings and hope this is not the last.
In addition to the film this release offers up bonus content including deleted scenes, numerous featurettes and more. Join the latest Poirot mystery when Death On The Nile available now on digital and then on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on April 5th from 20th Century Studios.