Knives Out - This Christie-Parody Movie Only Occasionally Rocks
Dir: Rian Johnson
Starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Toni Colette, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Lakeith Stanfield, Christopher Plummer, Don Johnson, Frank Oz
Rian Johnson attempts to combat the hostility he encountered (despite the considerable box office success) with The Last Jedi by going decidedly old-school. Knives Out is both an old fashioned Agatha Christie-style drawing room murder mystery. And a subversive parody of same. At its best it’s quite diverting, but suffers from the fact that for the most part – it’s just not very funny.
The tropes on display here stick to the form of the genre – a rich patriarch (Plummer) is discovered dead, everyone is a suspect and a detective with a dodgy accent shows up to investigate. Daniel Craig is said detective here, the splendidly named Benoit Blanc, replete with deep south vocals, and as he quizzes his all-star list of suspects, we flashback to various slowly revealed takes of that fateful night.
It’s all familiar stuff, but aims to undercut its familiarity with gags. Many of which are not up to snuff.
The cast is good however, Craig is clearly enjoying the opportunity to scenery chew for a change and the occasional gag does hit its mark. But not enough to make Johnson’s film a success.
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