Friday, February 11, 2022

New peeks into sneaky Poirot keep Christie mystery chugging down 'Nile'

Branagh sees all as famous sleuth, Hercule Poirot. 
It's already been a remarkably huge week for Kenneth Branagh, whose very personal "Belfast" not only collected several Academy Award nominations Tuesday but also helped the performer and filmmaker become the first ever to receive Oscar nods in seven different categories.

Today, though, he visits a different part of the globe as director and star of Agatha Christie's "Death on the Nile," Branagh's second go-round portraying the greatest detective in the world, "and all the rest are just average."

Of course, that would be Belgian supersleuth Hercule Poirot, the notably arrogant mastermind who has been played by the likes of Peter Ustinov, Albert Finney, John Malkovich, David Suchet, Alfred Molina and even Tony Randall, to name just a few.

Branagh himself and Poirot became a good fit in the 2017 remake, "Murder on the Orient Express," and now he and same screenwriter David Green offer more into not only what makes the stylish private eye tick, but also find him genuinely human elements of sorrow and anger, not to mention a legitimate reason for his trademark, exotic moustache.

As always, Poirot is surrounded by the large Christie-inspired ensemble of potential murderers, witnesses and victims, led here by familiar names such as Annette Bening, Gal "Wonder Woman" Gadot and Armie Hammer. It's the scene-stealers, though, including Letitia Wright ("Black Panther"), Sophie Okonedo ("Hotel Rwanda") and Emma Mackey (Netflix's "Sex Education"), contributing some extra attraction to the always top-shelf Poirot's lavish "vacation" in Egypt.

("Death on the Nile" is now showing at theaters everywhere.)

Rated "PG-13" by MPAA: violence, some bloody images and sexual material; 2:07; $ $ $ out of $5

Other movies debuting today include "Blacklight" (theaters only), "Marry Me," (in theaters and on Peacock), "I Want You Back" (Amazon Prime), and "The Sky Is Everywhere" (Apple+).

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