Movie Review – ‘Knives Out’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

You may have noticed that I have an interest in crime dramas in film and on TV. Whether it’d be film/TV adaptations of Agatha Christie‘s novels or episodes of ‘Grantchester’, I watch and review them on my blog now and again, sharing what I think works in a TV or film crime drama and what doesn’t.

Recently, I’ve checked out the murder mystery film called ‘Knives Out’ which was released at cinemas in 2019. I got a chance to see the film via Amazon Prime Video last week before its inclusion with Prime expired. I’m glad I saw it that way on Prime Video as I wasn’t sure I would enjoy the film.

Why’s that, you may ask? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that the film is written and directed by Rian Johnson. Yep, the writer/director of ‘The Last Jedi’, the most divisive ‘Star Wars’ film ever made, is the writer and director of this Agatha Christie-styled whodunit mystery film.

I didn’t want to judge the film too harshly and was afraid I might come away feeling rather yucky. Thus the reason why I didn’t see it at cinemas back in 2019. Thankfully, I eventually saw the film at home in 2021 and I’m glad my curiosity is satisfied in determining whether this is a good film or not.

Is it a good film however? Well…it’s a lot better than ‘The Last Jedi’. I think Rian Johnson works better as a creative talent doing original projects outside an established franchise. I’m glad I’ve seen another work of his outside of ‘Star Wars’ and determine whether he’s a competent writer/director.

I did enjoy the murder mystery aspects of ‘Knives Out’. It took a while for me to get into the characters and atmosphere as usually the case with certain murder mysteries. But once I was about halfway into the film, I found the characters and the motivations behind them really gripping indeed.

Mind you, there are things about this movie that put me off, including the F-bombing and swearing, though it’s arguably more tolerant than in the BBC’s 2015 ‘And There Were None’. There’s also the main character ‘puking’ when she lies about something, though it does help in solving the mystery. 🙂

‘Knives Out’ focuses on a wealthy, dysfunctional family that suffers the loss of their patriarch who seemingly commits suicide. A master detective is brought in to investigate the death and finds that there is more to this seeming suicide than meets the eye. Will he uncover who the true murderer is?

Daniel Craig (well-known for playing James Bond – I hope to see him soon in ‘No Time to Die’) stars as Benoit Blanc, the master detective. I guess Benoit Blanc is like Rian Johnson’s version of Hercule Poirot. A sequel with Benoit is in the works. I wouldn’t rate Daniel’s American accent highly though.

The film also features Chris Evans (well-known for playing Captain America in the ‘Marvel Cinematic Universe’) as Hugh Ransom Drysdale. It was a delight to see Chris Evans in this. There’s also Ana de Armas (also due to appear in ‘No Time to Die’) playing Marta Cabrera, the main character of the film.

There’s Jamie Lee Curtis (well-known for being in the ‘Halloween’ films) as Linda Drysdale, Michael Shannon (who played General Zod in ‘Man of Steel’) as Walt Thormbey, Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale, Toni Collette as Jon Thrombey, Lakeith Stanfield as Detective Lieutenant Elliot, Katherine Langford as Meg Thrombey, Jaeden Martell as Jacob Thrombey and Christopher Plummer (who’s been in ‘The Sound of Music’ and ‘Star Trek VI’) as Harlan Thrombey, the patriarch who gets killed. 😐

The film’s cast is pretty stellar and everyone delivers good performances in this murder mystery. There’s also Riki Lindhome as Donna Thrombey, Frank Oz as Alan Stevens and there’s even a voice cameo of Joseph Gordon-Levitt (who was in ‘The Dark Knight Rises’) as Detective Hardrock in this. 😀

So was ‘Knives Out’ worth seeing for me? In a way, yes! I’m glad I’ve been able to find out more about Rian Johnson as a writer/director in another film of his outside ‘Star Wars’. He’s clearly a creative talent and when he does original works like this murder mystery, he does them very well. 🙂

With that said, I wouldn’t want to see ‘Knives Out’ over and over again. I’m glad I’ve seen it once so far on Amazon Prime Video when I did and I would’ve done without the film’s vulgar aspects such as the swearing and the ‘puking’ by the main character. I was glad to be entertained for a change here.

Would I be interested in seeing a sequel to ‘Knives Out’? I wouldn’t say no. I would like to see another film with Daniel Craig as detective Benoit Blanc and with Rian Johnson being the writer of it. Would I see it at the cinema though? Well, it’s yet to be determined. I hope I will see it at a cinema.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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