Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot boards a glamorous river steamer with enough champagne to fill the Nile. But his Egyptian vacation turns into a thrilling search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple’s idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.
Originally set to release in December of 2019; the long-delayed cinematic retelling of Agatha Christie’s “Death on the Nile” has finally arrived in cinemas. The last cinematic version of the classic book arrived in 1978 and this time; Director and star Kenneth Branagh beings his version of Master Detective Hercule Poirot to Egypt after a chance encounter with his friend Bouc (Tom Bateman) while on vacation; Poirot attends the wedding of wealthy socialite Linette Ridgeway (Gal Gadot) and notices that she has married a man named Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer). The wedding is a bit of a shock to many as just six weeks prior Doyle was engaged to Jacqueline de Bellefort (Emma Mackey), and Poirot observed the two of them in a London club and how Ridgeway was introduced to Simon by her friend Jacqueline. The wedding reception is disrupted by the arrival of Jacqueline and Linette and Simon confides in Poirot that she has been following them around the world and asks the Detective to encourage her to leave them alone so they can get on with their life. Jacqueline is highly disturbed and pleads her love for Simon and shows a gun which leads Poirot to encourage the newlyweds to abandon their overseas plans and go home. Simon and Linette press on and decide to take their wedding party on a cruise of the Nile in an attempt to get away from Jacqueline. The plan seems to be working well until Jacqueline shows up as a ticketed passenger at a stop along the way. When a near-fatal accident occurs followed by a murder; Poirot must investigate the guests to find the killer. Naturally, there is plenty of motivation to go around, and as the deaths mount; Poirot must use his genius to find the killer. The movie takes its time getting started but the CGI-enhanced scenery and the strong cast are very compelling and set the pieces in place very well. While I was able to solve the mystery about halfway into the film, some of the details around it were cleverly concealed and there were plenty of twists that had me consider other possible suspects. Some may find the film a bit slow but that is the nature of a good mystery as time is given to developing the characters and their motives which adds to the suspense of the film. In the end, the film is an engaging mystery that recalls the classic movie mysteries of old and it will be very interesting to see if audiences will embrace the film in the same way as they did with “Murder on the Orient Express” and audiences will get more Poirot adventures from Branagh in the near future. 4 stars out of 5.
_Death on the Nile_ crawls towards a resolution you don’t feel invested in. Poirot’s backstory is interesting and there are some solid performances especially from the female cast, but the film otherwise feels like an unwanted game of Guess Who after you unwillingly chug two bottles of NyQuil and are asked to predict who the killer is after two long hours of tediousness. **Full review:** hubpages.com/entertainment/Death-on-the-Nile-2022-Review-A-Drowzy-Whodunit-Loaded-with-Mediocrity
FULL SPOILER-FREE REVIEW @ https://www.msbreviews.com/movie-reviews/death-on-the-nile-spoiler-free-review "Death on the Nile retains the problems of its predecessor, containing an even less mysterious central mystery and even less interesting multiple storylines. Kenneth Branagh is the great savior, offering a distinctive directing style and an iconic performance as Hercule Poirot. Despite some good displays and a couple of pleasant arcs, Michael Green's screenplay relies too much on its heavy exposition, not managing to escape the forced, dull, redundant dialogues. The audiovisual environment surrounding the entire film reeks of digital deception, sweating its green screen throughout the runtime. A whodunnit is worth more than merely finding the criminal, but the resolution literally being the first option that the first act suggests leaves an inevitable taste of disappointment." Rating: C-
It's probably best to start by saying that this adaptation of the Agatha Christie novel has virtually nothing at all in common with the 1978 Ustinov/Niven iteration (which I really like). Sir Kenneth Branagh starts off by giving us a little of the somewhat tragic WWI backstory to the famous Belgian detective before we are introduced to the newlywed "Doyle" couple Gal Gadot and Armie Hammer, his disgruntled ex girlfriend "Jackie" (Emma Mackey - whom I could have sworn was Margot Robbie) and an assembled cast aboard the luxury Nile paddle steamer "Karnak" where murder and mayhem ensue. A great deal of care has been taken with this production, and it looks great. That said, though, I found the characterisations pretty sterile; there are stars here but not (Annette Bening notwithstanding) big stars, and we get to know little of the personalities or grudges of the suspects. Tom Bateman reprises his role as "Book" from Sir Kenneth's other, equally flawed, "Poirot" outing back in 2017, but that stretches coincidence just a bit too much! There is little, if any humour, and though I did initially enjoy the 1930s Blues music it started to intrude a bit as the film progressed. Patrick Doyle's rather bland score reminded me of "Kingdom of Heaven" (2005) and though there is a fair degree of location photography, there is an equally fair degree of pretty obvious CGI too. Somehow, Sir Kenneth just isn't "Poirot" for me. His performances are always just a little bit too theatrical - he always has to be centre stage. The whole pace of the film really does lack any accumulating sense of menace and though it is certainly better seeing it on a big screen, I was really somewhat underwhelmed.
From a technical standpoint it's not bad and does feature a good cast and fine performances, but it's also rather predictable (kind of called the twist early on) and it's fairly slow to the point it I was losing interest (even though it's less than two hours long sans credits). Only glad I watched this for free on HBO Max as this was a one-time viewing for me (as was Branagh's Murder on the Orient Express, which I found only mildly entertaining but also overlong). **2.75/5**