Movie #64 2022: Death on the Nile (2022)

Similar to The Addams Family, I may be one of the very few people who rather enjoyed Murder on the Orient Express. For me, its cast was outstanding and it all looked so polished and full of pizzazz. Once again though, I was less impressed with the sequel. Well, if you could call it a sequel. (Seriously though, is it a sequel? I’m confused. Help.)

As with Kenneth Branagh‘s first Agatha Christie adaptation, Death on the Nile is based almost exactly on the book, although a few of the casting decisions don’t quite match up (or so my wife tells me.) It once again stars a mega famous ensemble cast though, whose characters take a boat trip together on the Nile for a couple’s honeymoon… which is not a shock, given the title. As you’d expect, the honeymoon is not plain sailing (no pun intended, I swear), as some of the passengers begin to be brutally murdered.

Why did you all pretend that Belfast was superior to this? Neither are exactly movie of the year, but at least Death on the Nile is entertaining. 

Now I don’t think much of Kenneth Branagh as a director, to be honest. However, Agatha Christie is not a world famous legend for no reason, so at least you know the source material is going to be on point. In truth, the real reason that this movie is better than Belfast is that the story is mysterious and intriguing and will keep you thinking throughout. What’s kind of gross about it though is that it’s clear a ton of money was just thrown at this film to make it look nice, and that’s not what makes an aesthetically pleasing movie I’m afraid, Sir Ken.

What Branagh did manage to do (again) is assemble a cast of talented – albeit some of them problematic in the real world – actors. French and Saunders were a delight (though that American accent is not it, Jen), but the two scene-stealing performances undoubtedly came from Annette Bening and Sophie Okonedo, who were magnetic perfection from start to finish. Russell Brand gets an honourable mention too, to be fair to him, and it’s really cool to see him in a more serious acting role.

My wife – who has read the original novel – informs me that the suspense building wasn’t a patch on the book, and whilst I haven’t read it myself, I’m inclined to agree with her. What I can say is that the story itself has enough of an enigmatic plot to hold audience interest, even though it’s a tad over two hours long. The great thing about murder mysteries is that you’re constantly trying to figure out who the killer is, so there’s no room for boredom.

Though I can’t say that I fully agree with all the negativity surrounding this, all in all, it is pretty average when it comes down to it. I had some fun watching it regardless, and whoever designed these costumes is a genius. Catwalk-worthy.

Death on the Nile is available to stream on Disney+ in the UK.

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