Note to modern day filmmakers, Hercule Poirot is not an action hero. He doesn’t chase down suspects. He manoeuvres other people to do that bit. He is all about ‘the little grey cells’.
Admittedly, I am coming from a very bias position. I adore David Suchet’s ‘Poirot’, and Joan Hickson’s ‘Miss Marple’, because they are adaptations of Agatha Christie’s book that are very respectful of the source material.
I can’t stand Alfred Molina’s film version of Murder on the Orient Express, because Poirot does not need to google the Armstrongs, he already knew about it all. I dislike Geraldine McEwan’s Miss Marple, because the producers felt it necessary to modernise the characters and stories in order to apparently appease modern viewers.
Agatha Christie’s creations are about brain power, using logic, using knowledge, using experience of human life. Their deductions aren’t as inaccessible as some of the leaps Sherlock Holmes makes to reach his conclusions. They don’t run – they sit and think, while they drink tisane or knit. They don’t run along a rickety bridge (which was the bit in the trailer that put me off), or stick a cane in the Wailing Wall (which made me actually physically shudder).
However, I come from a bias position, if it being slightly more action oriented doesn’t bother you, then in all fairness, Kenneth Brannagh has made a really good film, and apart from saying you should try the Suchet version, I would recommend it.
The all-star cast do a brilliant turn, the source material is respected, and the gathering at the end is certainly set very well in the mouth of a tunnel in the depths of winter. Very atmospheric, if a bit chilly, and it certainly set the tone of the raw emotions felt by certain characters. A few of the characters that are more prominent in the book get a bit lost along the way, especially the Count and Countess, but that is bound to happen with such a large ensemble.