As an Agatha Christie fan, this definitely felt like a poorly-conceived community theatre production than a legitimate adaptation of one of her works. Hopefully, she comes back to life as a copyright-striking zombie so she can put a stop to Hollywood hacks from further ruining her bibliography by making horrendous films that do zero justice to her work. Kenneth Branagh ought to be ashamed of himself for this failure.
The Big Reveal is still so powerful that it should have been a springboard for a much better, much darker, Fincher-style movie, examining collective guilt, the morality of revenge, and the effects of such events on Poirot's perfectly calibrated moral compass. Those themes are only touched on here: instead, the admittedly fun cast perform like a Thursday night am-dram at a Basingstoke community centre.
it's surprising that Kenneth Branagh didn't ruin this one; it's surprising that they still managed to put some new things on this overtly-adapted story, sure some of it wasn't really necessary, but not to the point of annoying; yet the most surprising of all, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. It's still a pleasant to watch, for the eyes particularly.
Frank question: what was the point of making this? Nothing to offer to the train movie canon or the mystery canon, the Christie canon, there are no remarkable performances--the actors nearly fall asleep themselves--, there is no interesting play with the novel, which itself is only puzzling in its popularity. But this reminds me to watch the Lady Vanishes again!
0.5 - I've never read the novel or watched the previous adaptations, so I must've been the prime target audience for it. Don't blame it on the familiar and predictable story. There's also no blame for the actors, as most of all are nothing but glorified cameos with 2 or 3 scenes where they actually have dialogues. The problem is entirely laid on Branagh's offensively boring directing and dull build up to the reveal.
That Branagh sure know his stuff. Shame that he settles for a quite tedious and safe take on this classic story. Nothing here raises your pulse and only the most clueless viewer will be surprised by the reveal. Still it all looks and sounds right but gets quite boring real quick.