Written and Directed by Rian Johnson
Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Dave Bautista, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Janelle Monáe, Leslie Odom Jnr, Madeline Cline, Jessica Henwick.
The World’s greatest detective, Benoit Blanc (Craig) is having a moment of sadness as his services have not been required due to the pandemic. When eccentric (when are they not?) billionaire Miles Bron (Norton) invites his four best pals (Bautista, Hahn, Hudson and Odom Jr) to a murder mystery, Blanc finds himself invited too – despite never meeting the man. Also invited is the woman cut out of Bron’s mega deal (Monáe). When the ‘murder mystery’ actually has a real death early on, it is up to Blanc to find out who the killer is.
While it had been a few years since I had seen the first film, I felt this actually improved on the original – with more of an interesting plot, and most of the characters were quite likeable and empathetic.
The direction from Johnson is absolutely phenomenal, with such unique camera angles. The first ten minutes or so (when we are being introduced to the group) is so well done with them trying to figure out the puzzle – with the screen split with each of them on it. While this is nothing new, I found it to pull me in to the movie.
While it has moments of seriousness, at the root of it, it is a very funny comedy – and Craig has proven time and time again his dry humour and comedic timing is on point. One special mention is around 48m mark made me laugh out loud.
The MVP here is Monáe’s character who has some interesting secrets. However all of the cast are so charismatic in their roles. There are also some fun cameos, from a couple of big names like Ethan Hawke, Natasha Lyone and even Hugh Grant! The late Angela Lansbury, and Stephen Sondheim both appear as themselves in a small cameo in the beginning of the film as well.
Some negatives are some clichés, that are overused and a little cartoonish. Also the inclusion of the pandemic within the storyline. It is only really featured briefly in the ‘cold open’ of the film – and adds nothing of substance other than acknowledgement. We immerse ourselves in theatre and film to escape reality, and it was disappointing to me that we were subject to it within this medium.