Why can’t Kenneth Branagh and Michael Green just adapt an Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot novel that hasn’t been brought to the big screen yet? Aren’t there like 40 of them? Is copying another book now the new utmost difficult task compared to copying a movie adaptation? I get that it’s commercially smart to market her most popular novels, especially if they had an old and popular movie adaptation made of it already, but take, at minimal, a small break from the greed please, Hollywood.
I have such false hope.
Death on the Nile opens its gates up with an origin story of how an iconic mustache (yep) came to be, and as absurd and campy as it is, it is far more entertaining and promising than what followed, which just ended up being the regurgitated story that I had feared. If there has been any silver lining to Branagh’s (so far) two renovations, it’s undoubtedly been in how he’s emoted Poirot’s character regarding his actions and consequences brought about by his past that the original adaptations circumvented, even if it’s all evidently executed pretty haphazardly especially in a plot-twist (not the big reveal of the killer something before it) that is just completely out of his character to do.
I want to congratulate the studio for achieving what initially seemed like the impossible: managing to make the pacing even slower than John Guillermin’s 1978 original despite this remake being nearly 20 minutes shorter, AND THEN almost somehow managing to make it completely rush to conclusions from time to time. These “cinema revivalist”-contradicting remakes are beginning to be the equivalent to eating a 90-million dollar check (and God knows how much more after the amount of COVID-19 release date push-backs this got) in front of us and saying “we tricked ya cause it’s already been made before! But look, it’s worse now!” on a two-hour loop; at least that would save me the trouble of having to see Armie Hammer and Gal Gadot make love on CGI pyramids. If God gave Christie the gift to make decent mysteries for the world to love and cherish, maybe revisionists who don’t have that gift shouldn’t be wearing her tales out till we’re allergic to having to hear them again.
So dearest Hollywood, let the Agatha Christie adaptations and remakes rest for a while and let’s, as an alternative, get back to making those Scooby Doo live-action mysteries! What do ya say, gang?
“Death on the Nile” is now playing in theaters.