Murder on the Orient Express                      review by Bobby Blakey

The 1974 feature Murder on the Orient Express is a classic that has no need to be remade, but that has never stopped them before. The latest take on the classic features an impressive cast including Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Josh Gad and Kenneth Branagh both starring and directing, but does it capture the same intrigue as the original or the book or will it be a murder mystery not worth stopping the train for?

Murder on the Orient Express folllows a lavish train ride through Europe that quickly unfolds into one of the most stylish, suspenseful and thrilling mysteries ever told. From the novel by best-selling author Agatha Christie, “Murder on the Orient Express” tells the tale of thirteen strangers stranded on a train, where everyone’s a suspect. One man must race against time to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again. A movie like this is both hard to make and amazing that it got made at all. First of all it is a rare thing in Hollywood these days to get an A list cast like this together for an old school murder mystery Agatha Christie story that doesn’t involve big explosions or heavy CGI. Instead it just lets the actors act and the story unfold like the films of the 60s and 70s. The other issue is that if you have read the book or seen the original film it takes some of the luster out of it but here director and star Branagh didn’t care and went all in and delivered a truly great film to this genre.

This is a slow burn mystery as it should be that is filled with interesting characters and if you allow it will take you on a fun journey through the mind of this detective played to perfection by Branagh. He has not only directed the hell out of this film but also manages to still the show with a performance that is humorous and engaging all at once. He is a character that you want to see more of both solving cases and just to see his epic mustache. The rest of the cast all deliver as well with each of them shining in their moments with Dafoe and Pfeiffer among the best. I was so glad to get to see a toned down Depp getting the chance to return to the gangster persona and allow him to just be a great character with no silly shtick. There isn’t a person in this film that wasn’t on but it is Branagh’s performance that brings it all together and makes it all worth the ride.

I don’t want to say to much about the overall plot outside of what is already known for those that get to joy of walking into this film completely unaware of the story. This will make for an even better experience. There are some pretty slow moments here and there, but as a whole it delivers the old school type of film that we just don’t get much anymore and is lacking in Hollywood.

n addition to the film this release also up a variety of bonus features including deleted scenes, trailers, commentary, a gallery, and numerous featurettes that take you further behind bringing this classic to life. All aboard the murder mystery train and grab your copy of Murder on the Orient Express available now on Digital HD, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD from 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment.  

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