Totally didn’t expect to end up at the theater this weekend, but I did. Of my options, this is the one I wanted to make sure to catch. Like, fuck that one big movie, I missed this one when it was out at Thanksgiving (too much life going on), so i luckily got it at the end of its run. Surprisingly, my theater was full, which I feel like is pretty good for a 10pm showing.
K, on to the review.
In a rare turn, I will start with the negative, cause I only have one big one. The movie needs to be shorter by around 1/5th of its running time. Rian Johnson always liked to luxuriate in his worlds. And this is no exception. I usually am fine with this kind of thing, but it just dragged slightly right after the half way mark. For example, there is a car chase in this movie that absolutely did not need to be here. Stuff like that.
Whew. Glad thats over.
This fucking film is delightful. Lets start with the script/direction. I described it to my wife as a Weird Al parody of an Agatha Christie BBC Production. And I want to be clear about this. I don’t mean its full of yucks, though its very funny. Its a tribute. Rian Johnson clearly loves that stuff. And like Weird Al who only parody’s stuff he likes, Rian Johnson has made a pastiche of those types of things.
To be clear, I fucking hate british mysteries, I think that it is why I loved this movie. Much has been made of Daniel Craig’s accent in this movie. OF COURSE he has a weird ass accent. He is Poirot, Ms Marple, <insert character detective here>
And thats kind of what I mean by a parody, although pastiche may be a better word here. Its a british country murder mystery done by Rian Johnson. It has these wonderful characters that you just want to see rip each other apart.
The acting here is fan fucking tastic. I think everyone knows exactly what Rian wants and they all completely ham it up for the camera.
There is a scene early on where Toni Coilette’s character is dancing and keeps trying to have Jamie Lee Curtis’ character join her. Only veteran actors can bring across that much hidden contempt for each other in just a simple arm pull maneuver.
Also, big shout out to Ana de Armas (more on her in future reviews). I think way more than Jennifer Lawrence, Ana de Armas is the actor to watch. She is a chameleon, and she plays this role of the nurse/companion to Plummer’s rich novelist perfectly.
I have no idea what the casting director had to do to get these people but that is a job well done.
BIG BIG shout out to set design here. Most cheap, one location kind of movies get boring to look at. There is so much bullshit going on in this house that its going to be amazing to watch this film over and over again.
Lastly, I want to shout out Rian Johnson. Much hate has been heaped on him for The Last Jedi. And let me be clear. I don’t blame him for that movie. I blame fucking Disney for not knowing better and not having any idea what they wanted to do with these three movies.
But I digress. This movie felt like Rian letting out his frustration over the response from TLJ. “You don’t like the way I subvert your expectations, fine, I will subvert them every 5 minutes.” I think this film is secretly a response to the internet complaints to TLJ, and he knocks it out of the park. People called TLJ The Last Rian Johnson Film, and I knew that wouldn’t be the case. He is a fantastic director, and I think this kind of piece is where he shines.
Make a piece where you can focus in on one story and do what you want.
3.5/4 – If this movie was like 10-20 minutes shorter, I would teach it. I hear they are planning a sequel. Please fucking don’t. Or at least, don’t go back to these characters. I feel like that is a recipe for disaster.