DVD Review: Murder On The Orient Express

20th Century Fox

Most mystery fans know Murder On The Orient Express, we’ve read the book or we’ve seen David Suchet play Poirot in PBS’s Mystery series or even the film from the 70s with Albert Finney. I guess what I’m saying is most of us already know the story. Agatha Christie is one of the all time best mystery writers for a reason and the story is terrific. In this up dated version they hold pretty close to the original story though I did feel that it was a bit simplified for today’s audience. That’s ok, there was a great cast and it was filmed beautifully. I really liked Johnny Depp, he felt like a cross between a bad news Howard Hughes and Clark Gable. Kenneth Branagh was quite enjoyable as Poirot especially with the quirks being done just enough to let us know Poirot is a bit different but not too much so we think it’s a schtick. Closer to the version I see in my head from the books, though not as lovable as Suchet. Michelle Pfieffer was also really good in a role that required a couple different mind sets. Also, I didn’t even recognize Daisy Ridley as the Star Wars legacy. Ensemble casts are a tricky thing, sometimes one actor will overpower the film but that’s not the case here. People have mentioned they thought some of the star power was wasted but I disagree. Also, as an actor how could you say no to period dress riding the Orient Express in a movie based on Christie?

If you are a Poirot fan, a Christie fan or a mystery fan you’ll enjoy this. The ending to this story was always a favorite of mine and I’ve seen people try to copy it but everyone else fails. The movie runs 114 minutes and the extra features are nice. A behind the scenes look at Poirot and another look at Christie. I liked them a bit more because our friend Sophie Hannah was interviewed. (she’s writing the Poirot books now) and Anthony Horwitz was also involved as was Christie’s grandson. Check this out, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Jon Jordan