Written by Luke Barnes
Hercule Poirot, played by Kenneth Branagh, is back and this time he is trying to solve a murder that takes place on a steamboat.
To address the elephant in the room first, obviously it is unfortunate that this film features alleged cannibal sexual predator Armie Harmer in such a large role, but it is what it is and they filmed it before the allegations came to light so for the most part I just tried to ignore it.
This was a mixed bag of a film. To the film’s strength it boasts a terrific performance from director/ star Branagh who really taps into the emotion of the character and gives us a peak behind the curtain in a way the first film never did, the latter stages of the film really highlight this. Moreover, newcomer Emma Mackey is also terrific and steals a lot of the scenes she appears in.
However, to its detriment the pacing is awful and it feels like the film has been on for hours before the plot-forwarding murder even happens. This is a result of the first act dragging horribly, it is also wildly inaccurate to the time period with music and dancing that belongs in a different era entirely, Branagh seems to be growing bored with the period setting here.
Worse yet, the film features some incredibly on the nose product placement for Tiffanies, perhaps on the same level as Crispy Kreme in the Power Rangers film everyone has forgotten about now.
The worst thing about this film is Gal Gadot. I have defended Gadot against a lot of in my opinion unfair criticism, I think she makes a fine Wonder Woman, however here her serious lack of acting chops really shows, as she is unable to do any accent other than her own, or emote, basic stuff. When she is finally removed from play, midway into the film, you are grateful as she was quite clearly miscast.
Overall, a fun if flawed second film.
Branagh as Poirot
The pacing made worse by the awful first act
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