Thursday, December 8, 2022

Murder and Mayhem Cruise Down “Death on the Nile”

Death on the Nile | Only in theaters February 11 | movie poster

The opening black and white World War I scenes, both on the battlefield and hospital, set up the back story for Detective Hercule Poirot, the quirky, keen observer played expertly by Oscar nominated Kenneth Branagh in the new murder mystery Death on the Nile. A sequel to the 2017 Murder on the Orient Express, this film has an all new cast other than Branagh and Tom Bateman, who portrays Bouc, the detective’s eccentric confidante.

Be prepared because there is not just one case to solve in this adaptation of the 1937 Agatha Christie novel, which stays fairly true to the original book with only some modernization. The ethereal lighting gives the illusion of old world London and then continues to the pyramids of Egypt. You expect murder is coming, but know it takes a while to start the whodunits.

Before the diverse group gets to the Nile River, the socially awkward Detective Poirot, with the most unique mustache, begins his observations at a sultry London nightclub, where golden girl Linnet Ridgeway, played elegantly by Gal Gadot, makes her grand entrance. She encounters her friend Jaqueline, played convincingly by Emma Mackey, and ultimately steals the heart of her fiancée, Simon, played by Armie Hammer. Since the movie was filmed, a scandal involving Hammer has come to light, but he was kept in the movie due to the expense of reshooting his scenes.

Once on the Nile River, you enter the world of the privileged upper class upon boarding the Karnak luxury cruise ship as it embarks on the honeymoon cruise. The Egyptian scenes are not the most realistic but make for gaudy opulence. Once on board, Linnet proclaims “there’s enough champagne to keep the Nile flowing.” From a balloon dance party to shuffleboard, the guests entertain themselves as Linnet reveals to Detective Poirot that she doesn’t feel safe with the invitees aboard.

From kite flying on the pyramids, a stolen Tiffany necklace, murders, and drama, there’s lots to keep you entertained. When it comes to the mysterious case of a missing pistol, it turns out almost everyone has a hidden gun or weapon, and they all have an alibi and motive. Wait to see which of the guests enter with glamor and style and how many exit wrapped like mummies.

My movie buddy was my adult daughter Cassandra, so it was interesting to have a younger take on the movie. We came to the same conclusion and felt the movie took a while to get to the sleuthing you are expecting, but it made for an entertaining afternoon.

The Detective Poirot character was first introduced in the 1920’s novel The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Christie used him as a character in 33 novels, two plays, and 50 short stories, so there’s lots of material to adapt into movies. Having directed and acted in both, Branagh hasn’t ruled out the potential of other Christie mystery films. The ending leaves you wondering what caper the detective will embark on next.

Movie times: Click here

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Crime

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Actors: Tom Bateman, Annette Bening, Kenneth Branagh, Russell Brand, Ali Fazal, Dawn French, Gal Gadot, and Armie Hammer

Running Time: 2 hours 7 minutes

Rating: PG-13


Jennifer Velez
Jennifer Velez
Jennifer fell in love with Coronado as a teenager while visiting a college friend. She vowed that someday she would make it her home, and that dream has recently become a reality. Fast forward through completing college with a BA in Journalism, Public Relations and Communications, she then went on to work with a variety of clients. She also taught Journalism and coordinated fundraising for her children’s school, and was a staff writer for San Diego Family Magazine and contributed to other parenting publications. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to: [email protected]