As a big fan of high profile period piece movies, there was no way I was missing Murder On The Orient Express.
I saw the Sidney Lumet version in 1974 and to be honest, as excited as I was to see the new version, I was sure it would not hold a candle to the star studded 1974 Oscar nominated film.
I’ll say this; it’s better.
I came home from the movie and rented the 1974 version on demand…as much as I love it, the new one is better.
Sorry Sean Connery, sorry Laruen Bacall, and yes, sorry Vanessa Redgrave, but it is.
Of course not all the critics agree with me.
And I’ll admit, there was change or two which will surely fluster Agatha Christie devotees; most notably, the replacement of Swedish missionary Greta Ohlsson with a missionary named Pilar Estravados (played by Penelope Cruz.)
Here’s a thought: star power. Penelope Cruz sells tickets, Penelope Cruz would be slightly miscast as a Swede; ergo: Hola Pilar, como estas?
Speaking of star power, I had actually heard of or seen all of them.
That’s a first in a long time, and a refreshing one.
Sure, sure, it’s great to give Hollywood newcomers a chance, but Kenneth Branagh wanted to sell tickets, so he pulled out all the stops.
Branagh leads a star-studded troupe which includes Johnny Depp, who dies early on – oh get over it, if you’ve read the book or seen the original or for that matter read the title, someone gets murdered.
After all, it’s not called Inconvenience on the Orient Express even though there is some.
Michelle Pfeiffer, Dame Judi Dench, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Willem Dafoe, and Derek Jacobi complete the starring roles.
The story, first published by Agatha Christie in 1934, revolves around an eccentric detective with a mustache so epic I am sure it required its own trailer on the lot, who just happens to be on a train when one of the first class passengers is murdered.
He has a slew of suspects, uses his wiles to solve the crime while thwarted by a snow storm, derailment, treachery, deceit, and subterfuge.
If you don’t know the story, the ending will surprise you.
If you do, well, Kenny added a twist or two.
It is a story about murder not a robbery, but one did occur in the lobby while we were there. Three tickets, three cokes, and one popcorn came to $57.00!
It was nearly impossible to get my wallet out of my pocket while holding my arms UP.
Thinking back, she didn’t even say, “Stick ‘em UP.”
Go see it, you’ll like it, it’s beautifully filmed movie with a Wes Anderson color palette at times. (Wes was not involved, it’s a Ridley Scott film.)
Or, if your TV is big enough, wait for the video.
BTW, both the movie and the popcorn are dolphin free. Yes, I asked.