Eppler: "Orient Express" survives its source material

Eppler: "Orient Express" survives its source material

The remake of "Murder on the Orient Express" is exactly what it needs to be: a beautiful movie with beautiful people in a beautiful setting. Here's the set-up: on a train full of passengers, someone winds up dead, and a world famous detective happens to be on board.

Kenneth Branagh is the perfect man for the job in dusting off this 1934 Agatha Christie book. He has made a career of making old work fresh - from his many excellent Shakespeare adaptations to his wonderful update of "Cinderella" a couple years ago. As the director, his insisting on shooting on film makes for a one of the most lush and vibrant movies you're likely to see this year. 

Not only does Branagh like to show off as a filmmaker, but as a classically trained man of the theater, he is one of the most fun hams to watch. So, of course, he couldn't resist casting himself has Christie's iconic detective Hercule Poirot with a moustache that must make it very tough to eat sandwiches.

It's a pleasure watching this all-star cast chew up these roles - especially Michelle Pfeiffer seeping sexuality and mystery and Johnny Depp without eye-liner or racist face paint as a sinister and creepy crook.

The only real problem with this movie is the source material - a mystery that I've never thought played fairly or made much sense. But it's often a delight to watch, and I'm all in for Branagh leading a new Poirot series if they all look like this. 

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