An All-Star Cast is assembled in ‘Murder On The Orient Express,’ directed by Kenneth Branagh and each one is visually stunning. I mean, Johnnhy Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench – they’re here. Add to that Broadway-centric stars like Josh Gad and Leslie Odom Jr. and that makes me doubly happier. So why is it that I was not overwhelmed with happiness after seeing ‘Murder On The Orient Express’? Perhaps because I felt a lot of things were overly familiar, and also maybe because the ‘reveal’ is the same as the 1974 version. The screenplay, by Michael green, introduces a bit of ‘new stuff’ but it just did not connect for me. And while the film is gorgeous (the cinematography by Haris Zambarloukos is nomination worthy) to look at, a lot of times it felt pretty but no substance. Branagh’s direction had some nice touches – the last-supper type scene with all the suspects was inspired – the movie still limped. Pfeiffer is great here, but just like most people in the cast, underutilized.
Perhaps the movie just isn’t for me. I vacillated quite a bit on seeing it, and only did when a friend asked me to go with him. I don’t know if I would have gone alone.