Plot – A detective investigates the death of a patriarch of an eccentric, combative family – Knives Out
Director – Ryan Johnson
Released – 2019
I was surprised just how disappointed I found Knives Out, not because it isn’t an enjoyable movie. Arguably it is, but the pure number of rave reviews had suggested to me that this was going to be outstandingly good that lives long in the memory. Something that although the film found it hard to live up to. I believe provides something for everyone to enjoy, particularly those of us who love a good murder mystery or have grown tired of repeated superhero movies filled with CGI action sequences and desire a far more intelligent kind of movie.
Now, what is genuinely enjoyable is the slightly over-the-top southern detective played by Daniel Craig’s, who’s thick accent reminds me of Foghorn Leghorn. He is by far the most memorable of all the characters, while the remainder of the cast is unfortunately not as intriguing, this despite boasting some pretty big names including the excellent Jamie Lee Curtis and Toni Collette, both of whom are pretty much wasted with the material they’re given.
The Plot, of course, is a whodunit, and while it’s quite a good one, it isn’t the most original you’ve ever seen, especially if you’re a fan of Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle. With Knives Out at times feeling like an homage to the great mystery writers of old (which is admirable) but at times borrows too much from previous works and thus falls somewhere shot when compared to the great movies it’s attempting to mimic. Not that you’re likely to guess the ending, with the number of twists and turns weaved into the script and the direction by Johnson leaving almost every outcome open until the very last shot.
Perhaps the best aspect of Knives Out, aside from the performance of Daniel Craig, was the balance of comedy and thriller that Johnston managed to achieve throughout, resulting in a rather more pleasant film-watching experience than if he had followed a straight-up thriller. Mainly because I don’t believe the plot and the level of character development would have been enough for a more serious affair.
If you liked: Murder on the Orient Express, Murder Mystery, A Simple Favour