Film review: Murder on the Orient Express (3 out of 5)

Murder on the Orient Express
Murder on the Orient Express

Having watched the 1974 film of Murder on the Orient Express at the cinema and in 2010 seen David Suchet as Hercule Poirot on the small screen, the question inevitably was always going to be - how will Kenneth Branagh’s version be different?

Well, Branagh’s Poirot is certainly a vast improvement on Albert Finney’s strange 70s incarnation and the there are some quite stunning snowy landscape scenes.

But you can’t really play around much with Agatha Christie’s classic tale of revenge, so if you know whodunnit already then it’s a case of sitting back and admiring the acting.

And there’s plenty to enjoy, with the likes of Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Michelle Pfeiffer and Olivia Colman among the main cast.

Director and star Branagh’s Poirot is a particularly thoughtful man, with an extreme need to see balance in all things, even down to the size of his two boiled eggs for breakfast.

He is on board the famous Orient Express when a murder takes place just before an avalanche leaves everyone on board stranded waiting for help.

Poirot is tasked with tracking down the murderer before the snow is cleared and they arrive at their destination.

Christie’s murder/mysteries are a favourite across many generations, so is there still an audience who don’t know the story?

Well, a quick poll in the office suggested there are plenty of people who haven’t watched any version, so it may well prove popular at the box office.

It’s a great plot and a superb cast so definitely worth seeing.

However, I still reckon the Suchet TV version can’t be bettered.

Film details: Murder on the Orient Express (12A) 114mins

Directors: Kenneth Branagh

Starring: Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer

Screening courtesy of Horsham Capitol