Classic murder mystery will keep you guessing
Murder on the Orient Express flew under a lot of people’s radar. With a cast as talented as it was, there was not a lot of advertising for this one. So when it quietly slipped into the theatre, I went in with no expectations, let alone an idea of what to expect. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised.
Murder on the Orient Express is based off the 1934 murder mystery by renowned author Agatha Christie. Christie made a name for herself, back in the day, as the queen of suspense. She was revered with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock and idolized authors like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (Sherlock Holmes). They have made movies of her works in the past. In fact, the lead investigator in Murder on the Orient Express, Hercule Poirot, was a character she wrote of extensively and the character hit the silver screen multiple times.
In this film, Poirot gets on board a train heading home only to have one of the passengers murdered aboard the train. Now, with the train caught in thick snow, Poirot must use his keen detective skills to solve the mystery of the murder before it can happen again. Everyone is a suspect.
I think the most misleading thing about this movie is its all-star cast. While everyone was great in their respective roles, it was the power of Christie’s source material that made this movie shine as much as it did. Kenneth Branaugh, who both directed and starred as the famed Hercule Poirot, was quite outstanding. Sharing the screen were the likes of Michelle Pfeiffer, Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Judy Dench, Josh Gad, Daisy Ridley, and many more.
The simplicity of a murder mystery usually shows, and most modern attempts are figured out within the first few minutes. However, thanks to Agatha Christie’s powerful writing and Kenneth Branagh’s vision, Murder on the Orient Express left you guessing the whole time, even if you thought you had it all figured out.
They definitely don’t write them like they used to, and I highly recommend you check this one out.
‘Daddy’s Home 2’
There are many movies out there that don’t warrant a sequel, yet they seem to find their way out. I was certain this film would be one of them. But there was a couple new names in Daddy’s Home 2 that made this movie a must see for me.
In Daddy’s Home, we learn of Brad (Will Ferrell). Brad is married to Sara (the gorgeous Linda Cardelinni) and the simple and mild stepfather to her children. While Brad is still trying to earn the love and the respect of his stepchildren, the kids’ real father Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) arrives and throws everything in disarray. In the end, they end up becoming friends and all seems well. However, in Daddy’s Home 2, the two friends have their relationship put to the test when both Brad’s father Don and Dusty’s father Kurt (played by the hilarious duo of John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) are invited to spend Christmas with their respective families. Now Brad and Dusty have their hands full, juggling their kids, Christmas, and trying to earn the respect of their fathers.
The polar opposite styles of Don and Kurt, portrayed superbly by the legendary actors, make this not only a great holiday film, but one of the funniest movies to come out in a while. It was so great to see Mel Gibson come back and be the great actor he was known for and John Lithgow was fantastic, as he always is.
The flick reminds us that, even when we think we have it all together, we really don’t. Comic hijinks, witty banter, and even some tender moments, make Daddy’s Home 2 the must-see Christmas comedy thus far. With this and Bad Moms Christmas, the holiday movies are turning out to be pretty good. Now to wait for Justice League and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Head over to Duggan Cinemas and make it a movie night!