DEATH ON THE NILE (2022) REVIEW
A classic murder mystery thriller, Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express was released in 2017.
The film also starred Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and others.
Despite some criticisms of its plot and pacing, this adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express grossed over $350 million worldwide, making it one of Christie’s most successful adaptations. The company at the time, 20th Century Fox, decided on a Poirot detective sequel.
The sequel was delayed for several years due to Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox and the COVID-19 epidemic. With the premiere of Death on the Nile, 20th Century Fox (now under Disney’s operational control) and filmmaker Kenneth Branagh are already planning the next Hercules Poirot mystery (which is currently in production).
It’s up to you to judge whether this new Poirot case is worth the time and effort.
To relax after the events of Orient Express, Herculin Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) takes the super sleuth to Egypt. It’s the wedding of Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) and Linnet Ridgeway-Doyle (Gal Gadot) that Poirot runs into. Linnet’s maid Louise Bourget (Rose Leslie), Andrew Katchadourian (Ali Fazal), Linnet’s cousin/lawyer, Marie Van Schuyler (Jennifer Saunders), Linnet’s godmother Marie Van Schuyler (Jennifer Saunders), her nurse Mrs. Bowers (Dawn French), Linus Windlesham (Russell) and Linus Windlesham (Russell) are among (Letitia Wright). Jacqueline de Bellefonte (Emma Mackey), Simon’s ex-girlfriend and Linnet’s former acquaintance, surprises them on their honeymoon by boarding the Karnak. During the trip, Poirot (as a guest of Boucle) interrogates the visitor to learn more about their motivations. But who killed?
THE GOOD / THE BAD
Murder on the Orient Express was brilliant. The legendary pop-culture allusion in Christie’s classic murder mystery novel was familiar to many. Despite this, I had no idea what happened to the Orient Express. Putting that aside, I appreciate a good murder mystery, especially one with a period piece feel. So the 2017 adaptation of the popular murder mystery novel benefits Branagh. This is my second viewing of the 1974 picture starring Albert Finney as Poirot. Branagh has a more diverse ensemble and a more exquisite production quality in current cinema. The new film didn’t seem to improve on the 1974 version, so I understand some people’s conflicting sentiments. This is probably why I enjoy seeing Branagh’s take on Murder on the Orient Express every now and again.
The Orient Express Murders 2 (2017) Unlike Christie’s novel, Branagh’s 2017 film ended on its own. Kenneth Branagh will return as both director and actor in the 2019 sequel. I enjoyed Branagh’s new Poirot mystery. Death on the Nile’s new cast of familiar faces drew me in (i.e. Godot, Hammer, Benning, Wright, Brandt, etc.). My excitement for the film’s December 2020 debut has grown. This was due to the “House of Mouse” acquiring 20th Century Fox trademarks and properties. Death on the Nile was postponed numerous times in 2021 owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Let me start with Death on the Nile to catch up. So I saw it on its debut. Hector Poirot 2: My Views It was funny. Death on the Nile follows Branagh’s 2017 film with a spectacular ensemble cast. Like M.O.E., it has lofty hopes.
In Death on the Nile, Kenneth Branagh reprises his roles as director and protagonist. Then I’ll discuss about his movie acting. Moving on to Branagh’s directing. Branagh has directed pictures for a long time. Murder on the Orient Express, Hamlet, Thor, and Cinderella. So Branagh’s direction is solid. We don’t talk about 2020’s Artemis Fowl. Branagh’s direction is sharper than Fowl’s, capturing the spirit of Christie’s famed detective Poirot novel. Like his Orient Express, Branagh gives Death on the Nile a retro Hollywood feel while keeping it current. As a result, Branagh develops another murder mystery adventure that both follows and adds new components. Death on the Nile has a subtle effect on Poirot. The murder case (murder and suspects) recalls Poirot’s past, including an opening salvo intro to the film. It undoubtedly contributes to Branagh’s portrayal of Poirot.
Even if you ignore it, Death on the Nile is a great classic murder mystery with plenty of opportunities for the characters and detectives to demonstrate their machismo. You won’t be disappointed if you’re a fan of the Poirot novels or just looking for a good old-fashioned murder solver. It’s a character study of human nature, with Poirot exploring several lives to solve a case. Even if it doesn’t top 2017’s Orient Express, Branagh is the right director to bring Death on the Nile to life with such theatrical boldness and character insight.
Death on the Nile is a superb feature film with lavish production quality throughout. It’s a detective crime solving wrapped in a great period piece narrative, like Orient Express. Using art motifs and locations from Egypt in the late 1930s helps build a “old school” ambiance for the film. For Death on the Nile’s production layout and overall design, art director Jim Clay worked closely with Abi Groves and Amanda Hillgrove on set decorations, Paco Delgado on costume designs, and Jumanji Singh on costume designs. Harris Zambarloukos’ cinematography is exceptional, with multiple sleek camera angles and dramatic use of glass window perspectives. It adds to the aesthetic appeal of the film and some great shots. The film’s score, composed by Patrick Doyle, was likewise superb, evoking suspense and dramatic calm in every scene. A great film score.
Death on the Nile has some design and execution faults. The plot and the first half of the film will be scrutinised the most. So… Death on the Nile’s screenplay, authored by Michael Green (who also penned Orient Express in 2017), takes almost an hour to get to the meat. Given that the first half of Murder on the Orient Express is set up, the sequel’s first half is set up. But the writing plods along as everything falls into place. A murder scene occurs midway during Death on the Nile. Second part is a murder investigation with Poirot probing various passengers onboard the Karnak. Thus, Green’s screenplay lacks refinement and overall execution.
It also lacks the “X” factor of the Orient Express. The elements are in place, but Green and Branagh lack the vigour and energy of 2017. Mistakenly….. Death on the Nile is still a good murder mystery, but it’s not like Orient Express. The film also uses green screen in several of the first half images. Expectations were high, given the film’s star power and production value. Sadly, certain green screen photos are quite visible and took me out of the Egyptian setting. Especially when setting is important, a film like this shouldn’t have weak visual effects. And lastly, I thought the film’s ending was odd. YES, THE CASE IS FINISHED AND PARTIALLY RIGHT, BUT SOM This leaves a strange finale, as though Branagh and Green didn’t know how to close the film correctly. I see their reasoning, but it’s unclear and off-putting.
The cast of 2017’s Murder on the Orient Express was a treat to watch. Branagh assembles a strong cast for Death on the Nile, helping me overcome my doubts. This time around, Branagh’s Orient Express character is back, as is Christie’s famous detective Herculin Poirot. With Shakespearean writing and cues in almost every performance and interpretation he has done. Bringing forth the matriculate nature and peculiarities that made Christie’s Herculean Poirot renowned, Branagh’s Herculean Poirot is a perfect fit. In Death on the Nile, Branagh effortlessly slips back into the part with passionate relish and dramatic bravado. The case mirrors his personal struggles and gives Branagh a chance to shine. And Branagh continues to bring Hercules Poirot to life in stunning and cinematic ways. It’s great!
Actor Tom Bateman returns to reprise his role as Bosc, Poirot’s lifelong friend and former operations director of the Orient Express in Death on the Nile. Bateman is best known for his roles in Cold Pursuit, The Tunnel, and Da Vinci’s Demons, but his acting is great throughout his many ventures and he managed to develop a good supporting character in Murder on the Orient Express as well as this new movie. A larger role in Death on the Nile than in The Mummy Returns, Green’s script offers Bateman plenty of room to express himself. A terrific performance from Bateman ensures that Bouc has a lasting impact on the film.
Linnet Ridgeway-Dole is a wealthy socialite. My favorites were Wonder Woman, Red Notice, and Justice League. The character’s glitz and narcissism are complemented by Godot’s distinct physical identity. That she appreciated her position as Linnet, a minor but vital role. Her ambitions aren’t really “large” and her past isn’t particularly “interesting.” Her character had more depth/substance than I imagined. Still, Godot suited Linnet. Armie Hammer plays Linnet’s husband/ex-boyfriend, Simon Doyle. Hammer is a brilliant actor, especially in the lead role, but I believed he was miscast since he never owns the character and exaggerates the arrogance and vanity of an older socialite. He was also a tad hammy in his conversational lines (and delivery). His recent real-life accusations taint his portrayal of Simon. But something about his attitude and performance wounded.
Emma Mackey (Eiffel, Sex Education) plays Jacqueline de Belle fort, Simon’s ex-girlfriend and Linnet’s former acquaintance. Mackey captures Jacqueline, a shady stalker who hampered Linnet and Simon’s celebration at every point. The sole flaw in her character is that, like Godot’s Linnet, Jacqueline is simple, and the film’s attempt to evoke pity for her plight falls flat. Overall, Mackey was good as Jacqueline de Belle fort in Death on the Nile.
Sophie Ooredoo (Hotel Rwanda, The Secret Life of Bees) and Letitia Wright (Black Panther, Sing 2) portray Salome Otter Bourne. Despite their tiny roles in Death on the Nile, both characters get ample screen time to shine. Ooredoo and Wright’s scenes together are delightful, as they both chew through their dialogue with relish and timing. They were all characters in the film and deserved memorable character prose.
Even without “grit” and “juicy” banter, Annette Benning (American Beauty) and Russell Brand (Rock of Ages) delivered great performances. It’s a good thing that both Being and Brand are experienced actors. Brand’s performance shocked me in a serious murder mystery.
In addition to Jennifer Saunders (Shrek 2, Absolutely Fabulous), Dawn French (Coraline, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) plays Marie Van Schuyler’s lifetime nurse/companion Mrs. Bowers, Rose Leslie (Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey) plays Linnet’s lady’s maid Louise Bourget, and Ali Fazal (Victoria & Abdul, Furious 7) plays Linnet’s cousin. Like in Orient Express, these characters are there to add to the suspense and intrigue. Their screen time is limited (only layers of suspect passengers for the murder), but their acting talents in supporting roles create a memorable impact.
Poirot uncovers a network of lies and motivations in Death on the Nile. Kenneth Branagh’s latest film introduces a classic mystery to a new generation. The film is engaging and entertaining despite the film’s slow start and certain faults in execution. Good job. Like? Yes. Is it ideal? Yes. Liked? Absolutely. Despite its flaws, I appreciated Branagh’s adaptation of Christie’s novel. But I prefer Murder on the Orient. Moviegoers wanting a wonderful film mystery and masterpiece distraction should “recommend” this flick. A murder ends the picture, but a third Hercules Poirot film is feasible. I’d love to see one! The film follows Branagh’s idea for Christie’s eccentric super sleuth.
A 3.8 star rating is appropriate (Recommended)
Released On: February 11th, 2022
Reviewed On: February 12th, 2022
Death on the Nile is 127 minutes long and rated PG-13.
Read More: The Laundromat Review