Lee's Review: "Murder on the Orient Express"

When a victim is this repulsive, one must ask, 'at what point does murder qualify as justice?'  

See any clues? The world's most observant detective takes in the colossal view from the caboose. WLTX

(WLTX) - All aboard the Orient Express, Istanbul!  We'll be making stops in Venice, Milan, Paris and an unexpected delay in Yugoslavia.  Nothing can spoil a wonderful train ride across Europe more than an avalanche...or a murder.

Fortunately, Agatha Christie's most brilliant (and pretentious) inspector is on board to unravel this mystery.  Hercule Poirot is obsessed with organization.  And, when things are out of place, he will stop at nothing to restore order.  Besides, until the snow is cleared, what else is there to do?

As it turns out, this victim was not a very nice man.  Just about anyone on board could have done him in.  And, of course, his true nature did not escape Poirot.

Sorry to disappoint all you Johnny Depp fans - but he is not our hero.  He's our villain.  Our sleuth is Kenneth Branagh, who we most recently saw staring off into the distance throughout "Dunkirk."  Not a bad Poirot (but we've seen better).

To no one's surprise, Branagh is also the film's director.  He does choose some interesting angles and the cinematography is quite elegant.  But the lion's share of attention seems to be on himself, with very little paid to the talented ensemble.  I can't recall seeing a more underutilized Dame Judy Dench!

Still, the story manages to hold up over time.  So, newcomers may appreciate it more than those of us who've seen previous versions.  But, as far as I'm concerned, everyone is mediocre compared to David Suchet - so the Leemoji is undoubtedly unimpressed.

However, that's my perspective.  Whether it's for you is your own mystery to solve.

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