review by Bobby Blakey
Despite the mixed results of his journey into the galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans were still eager to see what he had next with his announced Knives Out starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford, Noah Segan, Edi Patterson, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Christopher Plummer. Could this old school murder mystery deliver the goods or will it be whodunit that no one cares who did it?
Knives Out follows renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey who is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday leading the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. Going into this film I had an expectation from the trailers of how the narrative was going to work, but I am so glad to see it was not the film I expected in the best way possible.
Sure it has the Clue meets Agatha Christie vibe and works to perfection, but the structure makes it so much more entertaining. It wasn’t overly hard to figure out, but there is a part of me that believes it wasn’t supposed to be, but instead it’s the twist to the obvious twist that gets you. The twist is an interesting different take, but it’s the journey to get there that makes this film work so great. Everyone in the cast is great and gets their time to shine. Everyone one of them is a unique personality and voice that brings something to the table and each offer up the love/hate vibe and entertain throughout.
While the ensemble all play their way through this murder mystery its Daniel Craig and Ana De Armas that carry the heft of the film. They offer up of the opposite sides of the coin to keep you guessing in what not only includes the murder mystery, but also an old school game of cat and mouse. This element adds the depth that this might have missed otherwise as well as the silliest car chase every that works great. Johnson did something great with the introduction to the cast in the first half of the film through the interrogations and flashbacks that instantly gets you guessing to who is involved or guilty. Right out of the gate you quickly determine which characters you love and also start putting your own theories to work to solve the crime.
I didn’t realize how much I missed films like this until seeing this one. It’s not the kind of film we get much of these days, but I am glad this one got made. Johnson has crafted a fun, clever, entertaining film that brings everything you could want in a murder mystery that would have no doubt made Hitchcock proud.