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  1. Published on: 04/11/2017 10:51 AMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: A murder on a train sparks an investigation that happens to have the greatest detective in the world on board.

    As it's been years since I've seen the Albert Finney version and having seen so many films since, I have pretty much forgotten the outcome of this Agatha Christie classic.

    The 'whod dunnit’ sub-genre remains to be a very popular genre. However, we rarely see it on the big screen nowadays. It's home seems to be on TV or books nowadays and there is still a demographic for it.

    When I heard the man, the legend himself Kenneth Branagh was both directing and starring in this, I was pretty excited to see how it would work with today's audience.
    The trailer gives us a cast that on paper is as stellar as they come. Multiple A-listers, award winners and national treasures are involved. There are so many big names that you almost can't believe.

    It was great re-visiting this world and seeing Branagh give it somewhat of a refreshing take on the source material. From the first moment we see that almighty moustache, you can feel that there is an adventure to be had and we are ready for a ride.
    The build-up to the train itself is great, the audience will have lots of fun seeing all the big names appear in their own stylish way and I was seeing a cool usage of fancy camera movement that involves a lot of tracking and bobbing and weeving around its landscape.
    The pacing is solid and consistently entertaining as the mystery being to be unraveled and it gives you enough development that will keep first-time viewers of the story gripped. Then when it comes to the final, while it does get a bit over-the-top on the acting side, the big reveal is executed very well and feels as shocking as the first time.

    As expected, this is all about Kenneth Branagh. When he is involved with anything, he usually gets the meaty part of any story.
    While I do like Branagh, I always get frustrated with some of his choices in projects. Some people call him today's Laurence Olivier. I agree with that. But only due to him pretty much copying his back catalogue. From his theatre and on-screen work to countless Shakespeare adaptations. That being said, he's always great in his roles and this one was pretty good. While he does over-act a bit towards the end, he still gives a great Poirot.
    I won't mention everyone, just the notable ones. Josh Gad was a nice surprise as it was the type of role that we don't usually see him in. He pulled it off nicely and I think he stole many scenes. I hope this gives more dramatic roles as it shows he can do it.
    I was happy to see Daisy Ridley in something that isn't Star Wars. She contributed nicely and is developing nicely into a successful actor.
    It was great seeing Michelle Pfeiffer again after seeing her earlier this year 'Mother!'. Seeing her twice in one year is a real treat. She's still got that presence of sexiness and mystery and I hope to still see her a big productions.
    Another big name that we don't see anymore that I was happy to see was Derek Jacobi. A fantastic talent that I think still has some golden performances left in him. While he didn't contribute much to the main plot, it was nice to see a man of his talent back on show.

    There are many other parts to the film that I liked seeing. It goes without saying that the costumes, make-up and sets are absolutely immaculate. You can see the dedication they give to each of the suspects costumes and make it tell a story of their background. Don't be surprised if that gets a few nominations in those categories.
    Even the score by Patrick Doyle had its strong moments. That feeling of the Orient and time-period was enhanced with the music rather well.

    I didn't have many problems with it. It does have its slow moments. While I know they were necesary for character development, it just felt the film grinded to a halt after everything else was moving pretty swiftly.
    I was fearing some over-acting would come into play and it does do that towards the end. I won't criticise it too much as they worked hard on the build-up. But when you watch the big reveal, don't be surprised if you have a feeling of 'The Last Supper' when seeing that scene.

    So while it is a worn out genre and it's a re-make of a story many know, Branagh and his team managed to shake off the cobwebs and present in a fun way for the next generation.
    I had fun with it, there's lots of cool characters that are introduced and developed well. First-time viewers of this story will have a great time trying to work out who did it. It's great to look at both with the physical sets and the sweeping shots that are heavy in CGI.
    I might go so far out and say this might be suitable for family viewing. There is one brief shot of some bloody images. But other than that, I think kids might get a kick out of this. Particularly older ones.

    Rating: 7/10
     

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