See How They Run is a ‘whodunit’ interwoven into the storyline of the cherished Agatha Christie murder mystery play, “The Mousetrap.” Before venturing into the theater, one should be aware of the play’s history influencing the movie. “The Mousetrap” has continuously thrived in London’s West End ever since the first showing when the well aged curtains pulled back in 1952. The movie itself is witty, and those familiar with the play will enjoy the certain genre taste it conjures on screen. However, it seems the film was dragged down in its own efforts to be original. Perhaps that was the main idea the whole time, but it seems the general mockery of irony tied into murder mysteries still produced a generic ‘whodunit.’
Tom George’s film opens in 1953 London with the 100th celebration of “Mousetrap,” on the rise, with plans to transition the hit into a motion picture bursting at the seams. Leo Kopernick, played by Adrien Brody, is a cocky director in charge of the endeavor, and is widely loathed by the cast and crew. Kopernick narrates the beginning of the movie as it pans across the theater to introduce the various characters, acting as a lens examining the lives they inhabit. With finesse, he reveals to the audience how the ropes work when it comes to murder mysteries. To his own demise, his murder was based on the basic principle of being the most hated by the general audience.
With the murder of Kopernick, cue in Constable Stalker, played by Saoirse Ronan, and Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell), on the case. Stalker is a clever character, passionate about her career, however in need of experience as a new edition to the force. Stoppard is a seasoned inspector in charge of taking the constable under his wing for the case. The contrast of Stoppard’s stoic nature to Stalker’s chaotic decision making creates a comedic duo. Together they must uncover the truth to solve the crime.
Overall, the spoof constructed a well made film with strategic metaphorical elements. The idea of creating a story behind the scenes of a well known play was imaginative. That being said, it seems ironic the mystery itself was basic. There could have been a lot of room to string together a full webbed mystery to marvel the audience in the final scene, yet, that was not the case.
With a similar opinion, my friend Ryan expressed, “Throughout the first half of the movie I waited for it to fully start, it was super slow and remained that way for the rest of the movie. I never felt attached or even got to know the characters at all.”
Simply put, See How They Run, calls for originality but births irony. It’s a treadmill going nowhere. In the words of Leo Kopernick, “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”
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Genre: Mystery, Crime, Comedy
Director: Tom George
Actors: Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell
Run Time: 1hr 38min