Okay, first things first! I never read the book or watched the original movie. Sure, I’d seen a couple of episodes of Pioriot on ITV4, but that’s as far as it went. I watched this with no clue of how it would go or what to expect …
For those of you as clueless as I was, the premise is; A passenger is found dead on a train which international detective Pioriot just so happens to be travelling on. It’s now up to him to crack the case and find the murderer, but there’s a fair few suspects.
I really, really wanted to like this film. I’m a huge fan of the murder mystery genre and thought this would tick all the boxes – however, it turned out not to be for me.
I’m going to work through this review a little differently than usual as it’s a real mixed bag. I’m going to get all the things I didn’t like about the movie out of the way first and then I can pull it all together with the bits I did enjoy.
There is little to no character development. I’ve already forgotten everybody’s name, apart from Pioriot and that’s only because I knew of him prior to the movie. This comes from the fact that there is a huge ensemble cast who seem to only get about 5-10 minutes of screen time each. There is so much wasted talent, it’s painful. There simply wasn’t enough time to get to know anyone or even give a crap about how and why someone was killed.
When the movie finished I was intrigued to see how long it actually was – turns out it was almost 2 hours in length, which seemed absurd because very little seemed to have happened… It all whizzed by so quickly, to an almost laughable ending. It was the most predictable and ridiculous conclusion to a story I’ve seen in a long time and boy have I watched some trash.
Honestly, in some places it felt like it would’ve played much better as a tongue in cheek comedy, than the supposed sophisticated, period drama it tried to be.
Kenneth Branagh is a likeable guy. Whenever I see him in a movie or see his name pops up as a director I really want him to do well, but recently he just seems to miss the mark. That being said, I will always give him a chance to shine and whenever he’s involved in a movie, I’ll make sure it’s on my watchlist.
The talent in this movie is great, they have managed to reel in some big juicy names who all look stunning in their costumes. The theming is fantastic and all in all this is a very good looking movie.
I particularly like a scene where we see Michelle Pheiffer and Kenneth Branagh walking through the train carriage as we are on the outside looking in – it looks great and does a fab job in demonstrating just how restricted the train actually is.
Now overall, this is by no means a exceptional movie but it’s also not completely terrible either.
I heard that most of the reviews that are coming out positive are from first time viewers of the story, which is why I’m so surprised it wasn’t for me.
That being said, it’s worth a watch if you’re running low on movies to see, but I definitely wouldn’t go out of my way to spend money on it.
5/10 – Disappointing, but does have a few redeeming qualities.