“Murder on the Orient Express”

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s no doubt that Agatha Christie’s favorite super sleuth, Hercule Poirot, will track down whoever committed murder on the Orient Express. But this disappointing remake of the 1974 classic just isn’t worth the trip.

Director Kenneth Branagh is having too much fun at our expense orchestrating his hambone performance as the world’s greatest detective.

If a lavish production guaranteed a good mystery, “Murder on the Orient Express” would have us traveling first class. But familiar faces galore do little to bolster the stylish production.

Who would want to kill nasty gangster Johnny Depp? Could it possibly be woman of the world, Michelle Pfeiffer, as they exchange what passed for sophisticated dialogue during a bygone era?

It’s not only their luxury train that stalls, but as the mystery unfolds, you can’t help sensing the alarming lack of suspense as well as surprise.

The shadowy characters portrayed by the mostly familiar cast come across so one dimensional if not altogether almost invisible.

Nothing tones down Branagh’s over-the-top performance that frequently becomes too much of a distraction, when his handlebar moustache takes on a life of its own.

This “Murder on the Orient Express” hardly has Agatha Christie fans traveling first class with 2 stars. Instead, this is what I’d like you to do: Track down a DVD of the 1974 original. Now that’s a classic who-dunnit…

Rated PG-13

2 Hours

Kenneth Branagh, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench

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