Death on the Nile Review
Did Knives Out ruin murder mystery movies?
Quick Thoughts - While I am thankful that the world was blessed with Knives Out, it has inevitably raised the bar in terms of what an audience expects from a murder mystery movie. Instead of aiming for that standard, Death on the Nile fully commits to stereotypical murder mystery tropes and attempts to use a flashy cast to cover up a sloppy and predictable script.
What went wrong:
In the opening sequence of the movie, Death of the Nile makes a mistake that plagues the film for the remainder of its two hour and seven minute run time - it focuses more on trying to tell Hercule Poirot’s story than it does on being an entertaining film.
I recognize that sometimes the audience is going to determine who the culprit is before it is revealed, that is part of making a movie like this. However, there is no excuse for it to be glaringly obvious 25 minutes into the movie.
There is no real tension until about 45 minutes into the movie and even then it is another 20 minutes until anything actually happens. That just won’t fly in a movie like this.
I have never understood the Gal Gadot thing. Every time she is on camera, she seems uninterested and unconvincing.
Really sloppy script. The flow, especially the first 45 minutes makes no sense at all.
What went right:
Production design was beautiful
Despite the bad script, there were some good performances in the film. In an ensemble cast, not everyone is going to shine, but Emma Mackey, Kenneth Branagh, and Letitia Wright were really good. I had never seen Emma Mackey in anything, but that will change after this. The second she came on the screen she commanded all attention and never gave the audience a reason to look away – she stole every scene she was in.
The final 20 minutes are no doubt the highlight of the film and Branagh’s direction truly shines in this portion of the film.
Rating - 44/100
Outstanding Performance - Emma Mackey as Jacqueline De Bellefort. Can’t say enough great things about her seductive and devilish performance
Honorable Mention - Kenneth Branagh as Hercule Poirot & Letitia Wright as Rosalie
Will I watch again - Probably not
Would I recommend - No. I don’t even think murder mystery fans will love this one
Final Takeaways - If Death on the Nile comes out three years ago, do I enjoy it? I would hope not, but the honest answer is maybe I do. I really do think that Knives Out has changed the way we will all view murder mystery movies from here on out, so future movies, adapt or be left behind. If you are in the mood for a murder mystery movie you will be better off to spend your time watching Knives Out or the earlier installment of this Agatha Christie franchise, Murder on the Orient Express.