Kenneth Branagh’s Death on the Nile is a notable improvement over Kenneth Branagh’s Murder on the Orient Express, though considering how dull, stale, and predictable that one was, that may not be saying much.
Packed with an all-star cast that includes Gal Gadot and Armie “I promise I won’t eat you” Hammer, Death on the Nile is a pretty and mildly entertaining affair that still sinks under the weight of its massive mediocrity.
The movie, based on the Agatha Christie novel, is a by-the-numbers murder mystery that patiently sets the stage with an array of characters (and potential suspects/villains) before the “death on the Nile” occurs. It doesn’t feel nearly as dry as its predecessor—a plus—and the actors, though never challenged by the material, are amusing enough. But Death on the Nile still feels like less than the sum of its parts, a production seemingly made for Christie acolytes and no one else. It’s a muddy proposition.
Fans of Orient Express will presumably enjoy Death on the Nile; otherwise, despite improvements, this one will do little to change your opinion of Branagh’s blossoming series.
But hey, at least we get to see an origin story for the dude’s mustache.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.