|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Murder on the Orient Express|
|Production country:||USA 2017|
|Running time:||Approx. 114 min|
Actually, the ingenious investigator Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) wanted to use the trip on the Orient Express for a long overdue time out. But then the shady art dealer Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) is murdered and it quickly becomes clear: the culprit must still be on the train. When he is lifted off the tracks by an avalanche and stuck in the snow, Poirot has no choice but to end his sabbatical and put his dreaded sleuthing skills to work. But who would have had a motive to kill Ratchett? His alcoholic secretary Hector (Josh Gad), for instance? Or the unassuming governess Mary Debenham (Daisy Ridley)? Are the Spanish missionary Pilar Estravados (Penelope Cruz) or the somewhat garrulous widow Caroline Hubbard (Michelle Pfeiffer) also suspects? Poirot still can't figure out who is behind the murder. He knows only one thing: nothing here is as it seems.
Kenneth Branagh delivers what is now the fourth film adaptation of Agatha Christie's 1934 novel Murder on the Orient Express. The best-known adaptation to date is undoubtedly director Sidney Lumet's 1974 adaptation, in which Albert Finney investigated as Poirot against a top-notch cast of greats including Sean Connery, Ingrid Bergman, Anthony Perkins and Vanessa Redgrave. In terms of star power, Branagh's version can certainly hold its own. In terms of casting, he actually got everything right. Whether it's Johnny Depp in a small but important role, Star Wars heroine Daisy Ridley or the venerable Judi Dench - they all deliver good to very good performances. Branagh himself is a good Poirot - apart from the overdone moustache - even if he will never be able to hold a candle to Peter Ustinov. Ustinov, who never solved the Orient Express case as Agatha Christie's master detective, remains simply the best Poirot ever.
The staging is classic in the best sense of the word. Sure, Branagh takes a few liberties here and there and sprinkles in a smattering of humor, which probably only very big devotees of the book might take offense to. Otherwise, however, he sticks closely to Christie's novel and delivers a visually superb old-school crime film that still entertains very well even if you already know the resolution. The script is entertaining enough and the atmosphere created by the sets, camera, and music is so engaging that there really is no room for boredom.
Sure, this is not a perfect film, nor is it the best adaptation of the novel. Nevertheless, this Murder on the Orient Express is quite great entertainment cinema that scores with an elegant old-fashioned staging, great actors and a constantly exciting story. Yes, we didn't really need this version. But when a material is recycled so convincingly, the lack of originality bothers little. And therefore, despite some small weaknesses, there is also a very clear recommendation: Buy a ticket and get on this Orient Express! Absolutely worth seeing!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp