Death on the Nile (2022)
February 10, 2022 8:58 PM - Subscribe

Belgian sleuth Hercule Poirot's Egyptian vacation aboard a glamorous river steamer turns into a terrifying search for a murderer when a picture-perfect couple's idyllic honeymoon is tragically cut short.

Tries to go for more serious than campy, which led to occasional unintended laughter from the audience. Features the least sexy "sexy dancing" of two attractive characters I have ever seen. I didn't hate it, though.
posted by praemunire (12 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Did…did Hercule Poirot’s mustache just get its own origin story?

I thought it was fine. It was an evening’s entertainment.
posted by MrBadExample at 7:50 PM on February 12, 2022 [5 favorites]

I felt that Kenneth Branagh was going for an emotional weight the story just doesn’t want to carry. In spite of itself it was diverting and pleasant.

I did think having the music just be lip-syncing to Sister Rosetta Tharpe and the Staples Singers was strange. That was gospel music of 25 years later and made no sense as something people would dance to in a London nightclub of 1937.
posted by argybarg at 10:21 PM on February 12, 2022 [2 favorites]

No, Tharpe's first big hit releases were in 1938. The Staple Singers' song wasn't terrifically anachronistic-sounding, I thought.

It's a pity Bouc died when he clearly had a tremendous psychic gift allowing him to know the script to Casablanca five years in advance. (As gaffes go, I thought that one was pretty glaring: if there's one film audiences know was filmed during WWII...)

On reflection, I think the whole was greater than the sum of its parts. They often fell flat, but in the end it was a watchable movie. I just wish they'd spent some money on the CGI, or, God forbid, filming in Egypt. The last film took in $350 million! You could splurge a little.
posted by praemunire at 10:55 PM on February 12, 2022 [3 favorites]

I feel like Kenneth Branagh is trying to bring some Peter Wimsey-esque PTSD into his Poirot, which makes me hope he tried to pitch a Sayers extended universe and had to settle for Christie. (I mean, almost certainly not, but the unnecessary backstory bits definitely feel ripped from a different detective.)

I don't really disagree with any of the less enthusiastic reviews I've seen - the CGI is pretty terrible in places, some of the dialogue is cringey, many of the characters are underdrawn, there are some hilarious anachronisms, retrospectively unfortunate casting choices abound. I don't care; it was a fun, silly entertainment and I regret nothing.

I was sad there was no aftercredits hint at a third installment. Not sure if that's a clear sign this IP is back on the shelf for awhile, or if movie studios are just being cautious given "everything." But I would watch another of these scenery chewing spectacles in a heartbeat.

Other than Branagh, I thought the stand outs in this cast were Emma Mackey (Jackie) and Sophie Okonedo (Salome Otterbourne).

As an adaptation, I thought it was pretty well done - I didn't love making all the suspects part of a wedding party, but I thought the updates to various characters were interesting and the added spectacle bits mostly worked.
posted by the primroses were over at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2022

I will say that probably the most unexpected part of the film is when Poirot generously explains to Bouc's mother that Rosalie and Salome are actually fine upstanding people--look, Poirot is above race prejudice! Branagh beams in his liberal munificence!--and then Rosalie tells him to go fuck himself, she has no need to meet his standards.

The whole cast has been diversified, so quietly that I haven't seen much notice of it outside of Salome (who died in the book, I think) and Rosalie, who are memorable. Cousin Andrew is now Indian, the only visibly happy couples are an interracial one and an (older!) lesbian one, a woman rather than the original man gets to be the principled if mildly ridiculous Communist, and every woman in the cast is economically independent, except the maid. Branagh even put visible black soldiers in the trench scene.
posted by praemunire at 9:03 AM on February 13, 2022 [2 favorites]

Went to see it in the theater last weekend and it was fine. It's beautiful to look at and full of attractive people in fancy clothes. As our first outing to the movies since Christmas, it made for an enjoyable evening.
posted by octothorpe at 4:54 AM on March 4, 2022

In the US, this movie can now be streamed on Hulu.
posted by Monochrome at 7:58 AM on April 1, 2022

Dance scenes in movies often make me cringe - when the beats are off, the actors have no connection, the dances are grossly over-choreographed, especially when we’re expected to believe they take place on a social dance floor - the opening club scene in this movie has now officially topped them all.

It makes me sad, too - blues is an incredibly powerful dance idiom, and it can be anything from ethereal to sexy as hell. They could have worked with a choreographer to have a scene that respects the history and captures how sweaty and exuberant it can be. What a shame they went for an absurd caricature instead.
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 9:40 PM on April 3, 2022 [1 favorite]

I don't really disagree with any of the less enthusiastic reviews I've seen - the CGI is pretty terrible in places, some of the dialogue is cringey, many of the characters are underdrawn, there are some hilarious anachronisms, retrospectively unfortunate casting choices abound. I don't care; it was a fun, silly entertainment and I regret nothing.

I'm so glad to see the CGI (and, honestly, most of the cinematography) in this movie getting dragged right now. I was moderately stoned when I watched it, and I assumed that's why everything looked (and sounded) plasticky and flat.

But no. It's bad. Every visual choice in this movie is baffling. The third time we got the shot through the parlor (?) windows it was just like ... enough already. AND WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH THE UNDERWATER CGI FISH.

It's telling that I finished watching it, though -- I bail on bad movies all the time. There's something about this one that kept me watching, but hoo-boy, it is not a good movie.
posted by uncleozzy at 4:51 AM on April 5, 2022

This is one of my favorite Christie novels, one I've actually read more than once, and this adaptation is so bad. I realize that covid restrictions might have forced them to keep the cast to a minimum but the changes did not help the plot. We're going to watch the Ustinov one to compare.
posted by fiercekitten at 8:15 AM on April 10, 2022

Why in the world did Poirot fight in WWI, have a weird love, and then keep talking about becoming a farmer?
posted by knownassociate at 6:38 PM on May 3, 2022

I just really did not like it — even source material aside, everything everyone has already mentioned, plus the walking in circles, weird accents, unnecessary schlocky dialogue, trying to frame shots like Wes Anderson without being tongue in cheek … just disappointing.
posted by knownassociate at 6:48 PM on May 3, 2022

« Older Peacemaker: Stop Dragon My Hea...   |  Archive 81: The Ferryman... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments