Playing Hercule Poirot, Kenneth Branagh does an impression of David Suchet doing a bad Belgian accent in this reboot of the 1930s Agatha Christie whodunnit.
Poirot is a late addition to the passenger complement on the Orient Express, running from Istanbul ultimately to London.
An avalanche in the Alps brings the train to a sudden halt and even Poirot’s massive moustache can’t clear the tracks. Then one of the passengers is found dead in their compartment, with multiple stab wounds. Poirot must solve the case before the rescue party arrives and some foreign-johnny flatfoot picks a random culprit to send to the gallows.
If you remember the story – and many people will have seen at least one previous version – this doesn’t have much new to offer beyond nice cinematography. The sheer size of the cast means that the top-notch actors don’t really get to exercise their talents and it’s lacking in suspense. An attempt to give Hercule some emotional backstory also doesn’t really work.
Still, it’s pleasant enough family viewing. Especially if the more aged family members have lost this particular plot. 6/10