6.5/10. Subverting your expectations for the best. Knives Out redeem Rian Johnson as a writer with an entertaining and witty whodunnit murder mystery.
Flexing a large ensemble cast, Daniel Craig, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, and Christopher Plummer all-star in this Cluedo meets The Hateful Eight film that centres around the murder of wealthy murder mystery writer Harlan Thrombey. We mention The Hateful Eight not because it ends up being a bloody mess but rather that each member of the Thrombey family is suspicious and has something to hide.
What we loved most about the film is the amount of detail put into the script which carefully weaves several different relationships and backstories in order to keep you guessing until the last minute. Each character’s version of the events adds to the depth and links cleverly back with what the others say happened to the point where it’s kind hard to believe this is the same person who wrote Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
We’re not saying it’s the most captivating or engrossing tale of mystery, but it does speak volumes to suggest that Rian Johnson might be better serving as a writer of mystery rather than science fiction (his debut film Brick was also a neo-noir mystery).
While there are few questionable pieces of logic with the paper trail that Johnson leaves behind for the viewer to track, overall the film does well to chain everything together in a way that should leave you surprised or at least amused. Detective Blanc is one of the best characters in this regard, whose strange wit and quirky mannerisms make the entire investigation process enjoyable to watch.
This is one of the films that is easy to recommend for those that not only enjoy mystery but fast-paced and witty dialogue in the same vein of a Tarantino film (just without all the violence). Is it the most revolutionary murder mystery of its kind? No. But does it subvert your expectations for the best? Yes.
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