Quick summary: There’s a death, on the Nile.
This had all the hallmarks of a bad movie:
- Is a sequel
- Heavily delayed
- Released in February
- Middling reviews
Let’s face it though, the reviews don’t count, as they didn’t like the first one either, and I loved it. If you enjoyed that, you’ll enjoy this too as it’s just more of the same. Ensemble cast playing suspicious characters locked in a location. It’s not quite as good as the first one though. It has a lot more wasted time. The first murder doesn’t happen for a long time, and a lot of that running time is somewhat wasted. Some of the performances aren’t that great either. I love Gal Gadot, but she gives some frankly abysmal line readings in this. The visuals aren’t as impressive either. There are some BEAUTIFUL shots in this, shots which take your breath away because of how stunning they are. But then there are scenes that seem too green-screened and fake. Plus there’s one piece of music that used silence too often to be effective.
It’s also awkward to watch Armie Hammer on screen, especially playing someone so sexual. You see him basically dry-humping someone, and in your head is the rape and cannibal accusations, which makes the whole thing slightly uncomfortable.
The rest of the cast is great though. There are some you wish had more to do, but everybody is given a chance to shine. Okonedo has the air of a diva, which is at odds with most roles she plays. Russell Brand gives the best performance he’s ever given. Emma Mackey is distractingly like Lucy Hale, but better (and with a better agent). The worst part of the ensemble cast is how they’re introduced, as part of a larger party, but they’re the only ones introduced, alongside an explanation of why they hate the soon to be victim. It’s a really unsubtle way of showing their potential motivations, there really should have been a better way of doing that.
I have been negative about this, but those are the only negative parts of a very positive film. It’s enthralling to watch and the closing section where Poirot gets pissed off and shuts down the boat is superb to watch, and his deduction is so much fun to see, it set the clues up well enough that you could have possibly figured it out before, nothing is worse than a “reveal” that comes completely out of left field with no foreshadowing. Also has genuine emotion, the handy thing about the delayed deaths is that by the time some of them happen, we are connected with those characters so we feel their deaths. The film also manages to avoid the cliche first-person POV shot of the killer attacking people while the victim stands there and screams “oh it’s you” vague stuff, never mentioning the names BS that harms lesser films. We don’t even know about the deaths until Poirot does. Characters are only known to be dead when he sees the body.
So in summary, a lot of fun, and definitely see it. You’ll enjoy it.