Wednesday’s film is a gloriously cinematic rollercoaster ride

Murder on the Orient Express

Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 novel is a big budget, gloriously cinematic, giddy rollercoaster ride of a movie. A nostalgic indulgence that is not just for a bygone era of transport, but also a bygone era of cinema. Packed with stars, decorously placed in exotic locations, all feverishly acting out a preposterous plot, it’s a perfect escapist treat.

Branagh is great as Hercule Poirot, reinventing him as an OCD perfectionist that sniffs out the solution to a mystery as much by intuition as deduction. Supported by an endless list of British luvvies (Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Olivia Coleman) and A List movie stars (Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Penélope Cruz and Michelle Pfeiffer) it’s tricky to know which way to look as each takes their turn acting up in front of the camera.

Shot on 65mm large-format film, we see all the sweeping landscapes in crystal clear colours, as a thundering score keeps the momentum charging forward in this rare, family friendly bit of fun. Of course it’s all complete nonsense that doesn’t bear a moment’s post mortem examination, but what a hugely entertaining journey it offers, as we steam onward towards its cunningly remodelled conclusion.

See it at the Corn Hall on Wednesday at either 10.30am or 7.30pm

By David Vass