Dean is a new online writer. He usually writes movie and music reviews.
Detective Benoit Blanc comes to investigate the death of a renowned crime novelist, Harlan Thrombey, after his 85th birthday party. While trying to figure out why he was mysteriously hired to investigate the suicide, Blanc questions the dysfunctional family through a web of lies to uncover the truth. What comes next is a mystery that begs to question: did Harlan commit suicide or was he murdered?
Rian Johnson makes a return to his craft after he divided Star Wars fans with The Last Jedi. It is no secret that Johnson is a talented director with films such as Brick and Looper under his belt. With that being said, it is great to see Johnson return with an original story with the mystery storytelling that he is great at.
Right off the bat, I loved this film. It had great characters with comedy spread throughout as the mysterious investigation unfolds. Let's get to talking about what makes this "whodunnit" so great!
As I mentioned before, Johnson is incredibly at what he does. The Last Jedi is a very disappointing film for me because I am a huge fan of Looper. However, he made a comeback with Knives Out.
There is amazing, quirky dialogue throughout the film that seems to lighten the mood of the murder mystery taking place. Though the quirky dialogue never goes over the top to make the film goofy. Johnson balances the quirkiness and the mystery so well that the movie is enjoyable as hell to watch.
There are some shots in this film that made my jaw drop in amazement. I caught myself talking out loud saying, "That was awesome!" For a film to make me talk out loud to myself says a lot about it!
Johnson outdid himself with this film. He needs to stick to projects such as this one. When he creates an original story like this, he really brings something to the table that makes a future classic.
The "Whodunnit" Story
Mystery films such as Knives Out are very rare. One of my mom's favorite films, when I was growing up, was the 1985 classic Clue. I am always on the look for films with a great mystery within the story. As movies do often have a mysterious atmosphere and twists towards the end, films that have twists and turns through the narrative are rare.
That is exactly what Knives Out prides it on being: an original mystery film. There is a mystery right from the get-go in this story. There are twists at every corner from start to finish, quite literally.
The only negative I have with the way Johnson tells the story is the predictability. I did not know how the film was going to unfold, but I guess an aspect of the film that came into play at the end. The good side of the storytelling is that it will have you guessing until the end. Even if you have guessed an aspect of the film, Johnson introduces another aspect that makes you question if you really know what is going on.
This story with the mystery, comedy, and quirkiness would not have worked without the stellar cast including Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis: just to name a few.
The standout in this film is Ana de Armas. She has to portray a wide range of emotions in this story that makes her stand out against the others. Her character is created to be kind and truthful which makes her a likable character. Then Armas brings the likability up a notch by bringing these traits to the screen flawlessly.
Craig was probably my favorite character in this film though. I am so used to him being James Bond that this goofy southern detective is a relief that I was not expecting. He feels like an old school detective that has a few loose screws and Craig plays it perfectly that does not come off as cartoony.
It was also a relief to watch Evans play a character like the one in this film. He is a selfish jerk which is the complete opposite of the character we have come to know him as, Captain America. I am glad to see what he can do and am excited to see where he goes now that he is done with Captain America. This character feels like he just had fun getting away from the goodie two shoe character he has played for years now.
I am disappointed that Michael Shannon and Jamie Lee Curtis were put on the back burner for this film. I thought that they would be playing a more prominent role than what they did. They had very little screen time. Although they were still fantastic with what screentime they did have.
There was not a single actor that was out of key in this film. Every character had their own story and quirks to them. They really feel like fleshed-out characters then the actors brought their A-game to create a great cast.