Death on the Nile: Movie Review

Death on the Nile Movie Review: A better look into Hercule Poirot

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We never did a formal review of "Murder on the Orient Express", the first film in the Hercule Poirot series being crafted by director-actor Kenneth Branagh. What we do remember was we never really liked the first film. Overall, it was boring and just dull. But this sequel, "Death on the Nile" was grand and much more nuanced. It may have some unnecessary excesses but color us interested on what Branagh's Poirot has in store for us in the future.

While on vacation in Egypt, the renowned detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) meets his old buddy Bouc (Tom Bateman). Bouc invites Poirot to the wedding celebration of  Linnet Ridgeway (Gal Gadot), a wealthy heiress, and Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) who had broken up with Linnet's good friend Jackie (Emma Mackey) weeks before to marry her instead. During the wedding, Jackie arrives and causes chaos amidst the happiness and Poirot finds out that Jackie has been hounding and stalking the newlyweds non-stop. And when one of them turns up dead, the honeymoon is cut short and Poirot must find the murderer among their midst.

2017's "Murder on the Orient Express" was dark, grey, and cold reflecting accurately the mood that we felt while watching it. 2022's "Death on the Nile" in stark contrast was bright, colorful, and vibrant likewise reflecting what we felt while watching the film. Beyond the film's whodunit roots, what really caught us off guard was the sequel's decision to put Hercule Poirot at the forefront. The film actually starts off in World War I - giving us a peek into Poirot's origins especially explaining how he got that distinct moustache - and setting the overarching theme of the film's mystery and eventual resolution (which revolves around love). For us, the writing here, especially for Poirot was strong giving the character countless scenes and scenarios to really show who he is inside. This was severely missing in the first film in our opinion. Unfortunately, this heavy focus on Poirot also meant that a lot of the other characters in the film was left out. Aside from a handful of main supporting characters, more than half of the other suspects in the film was completely set aside making the revelations less impactful. Another criticism for the film was its use of CGI that went completely overboard at times. "Death on the Nile" wasn't perfect and some may find its pace a little bit fast in its first half but once it gets its footing in its second half, the revelations and guesswork will leave audiences with a smile on their faces.

Rating: 3 and a half reels

Why you should watch it:
- dives deeper into the history and motivations of Hercule Poirot

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- relies heavily on CGI effects
- some characters are completely set aside
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