Knives Out was hands down one of the most enjoyable journeys with a movie I’ve had in some while. Written and directed by Rian Johnson, it could be considered somewhat a bounceback in public eye for him as this classic whodunit is just delightful. The film isn’t really reinventing the wheel but it’s quirky enough that it shouldn’t be a problem in the end.
When a movie has a such a huge and star-studded cast, things could go astray real fast or they could go exceptionally well. Latter is the case with Knives Out as the whole cast (led by names like Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans) turns up to work and smashes it out of the park. Even surrounded by heavyweights de Armas sparkles here as Marta, the nurse taking care of Harlan Thrombey (played by Christopher Plummer). She gets a lot to do with emotional and dramatic acting as most of the comedic side is more evenly spread out. Evans also breathes some fresh air into the film when his character, Hugh Ransom, is introduced later on. All around there is certain classic and sophisticated filmmaking happening here, making the whole runtime feel like a breeze. Johnson is clearly fully in control of his craft as his directing and script is delivered with grace.
Now I must admit that I had heard loud rumblings about how great the mystery side was and how it kept surprising people. I did go in with fairly high expectations regarding it but turned out being little disappointed. Pretty much from get-go I was following the clues and ended up being constantly a step or two ahead. Most disappointing part was the way we were following Marta’s story which didn’t feel as clever as many other parts of it. All this could’ve been much different had I not known anything about the movie beforehand but the less smart screenplay really brings Knives Out down a bit for me.
Smileys: Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, strong performances by rest of the cast, atmosphere, score
Frowneys: Not enough mystery for whodunit, Daniel Craig’s off-putting accent
Knives Out is a rare occurrence because the sequel could be even better if it sharpens some things.