When a man is murdered upon the Orient Express it is up to Hercule Poirot to discover who is the killer from the thirteen other passengers on board the train, in a tale filled with suspense and many twists and turns.
Before the action starts to take place on the train we are shown another case with Poirot a chance to see his skills in action, before the request to get to London sees him head to the Orient Express for a few days travel to relax and have a small holiday. Obviously we all know that is not to be the case!
The tension is built as soon as Poirot enters the train as we see each of the characters and they all try to talk to the famous detective at some point. This gives small build up to them as people and when the murder happens everyone is a suspect. To begin with though it does not seem like the mystery will be solved when none of them have a clear motive or link. But when Poirot digs a little bit deeper he will unravel a bigger mystery than he could have ever imagined. That is pretty much all I can say about the plot as it would have way too many spoilers and this is a film that you really do not want to know too much about as it will make watching it a bit tougher.
Kenneth Branagh really has put together a fantastic cast for this film with a high calibre of acting talent of all different ages, who mix in very well together with each other. Branagh directing himself in the leading role and is very engaging as the detective Hercule Poirot, I have to mention the highly distracting moustache! He had the humorous comments mixed in pretty well with the serious nature of the story.
It was very good to see Daisy Ridley in this type of film and with the very experienced cast. I thought Michelle Pfeiffer was a particular highlight and standout performer, but would we really expect any less from someone of her calibre? Willem Dafoe always adds something special to a film as well and I thought he was very good in his limited screen time. It was also fantastic to see Hadley Fraser on the big screen in a small cameo type role near the start of the film, I am a huge fan of his stage work!
I love dramas like this though and especially films which take place on a train. Something is brilliant about the characters not easily being able to disappear and seeing how they react to the time they are together. The scenes were shot in a couple of different ways whilst on board the train, I thought the overhead shots were interesting to show the lack of space on the train as everything starts to fall together for Poirot trying to pick apart the truth from the lies. Along with the film being very picturesque throughout the mountain scenes, it looked rather impressive on the big screen.
Overall, I found myself extremely engaged from start to finish and really enjoyed the tension and acting performances a film like this brings out.