This glossy Agatha Christie murder mystery gives Kenneth Branagh’s little grey cells a good workout. Hard at work on both sides of the camera, he directs and also plays Christie’s dapper Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, here investigating a baffling death aboard the eponymous train.
He gives Poirot an outsized moustache of luxuriant eccentricity, but in other respects his period adaptation of Christie’s 1934 novel is thoroughly conventional. It has a star-studded cast to rival that of Sidney Lumet’s lavish 1974 film, with the likes of Pénelope Cruz, Daisy Ridley, Olivia Colman, Michelle Pfeiffer and Judi Dench featuring among the line-up of suspects.
It offers some spectacular widescreen views from the train windows. Yet, to be honest, Branagh’s stately direction means the mystery itself is a bit of a plod, even if you don’t already know whodunit.