KNIVES OUT (2019)
DVD Release date: February 25, 2020
Cast: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, K Callan...
Picture Rating (MPAA): &0 more
Runtime: 130 min
Genre: Comedy | Crime | Drama | Mystery | Thriller
by Cherie Jung
In many of the reviews I read (after I watched the film) many people have been strident in their dislike of this movie. Some reviewers though, seemed to enjoy the movie, or at least said they did. I was a bit worried when I looked at some of the reviews, several were written in Spanish and others were in Japanese. I wondered if that were an indication that the movie was a critical bomb and a casual viewer dud. (I saved the Spanish and Japanese reviews to read later. I’m going to need to look up some of the Japanese characters to refresh my memory or Google a translation.)
“KNIVES OUT” is a “who-done-it” set in an imposingly large manor in New England.
Harlan Thrombey is, or was, a wealthy, self-made man, and a crime novelist. He was discovered dead after his 85th birthday party, which had been held earlier in the evening.
The movie was so bad, it was fun to watch.
Daniel Craig’s character, Benoit Blanc, is a private detective (essentially the “Poirot” character) with a really cheesy southern drawl and an unkempt appearance complete with 3-day stubble. He was hired anonymously to determine which member of Harlan Thrombey’s dysfunctional family killed him, despite the death appearing to be a straight-forward suicide.
“KNIVES OUT” is a mix of a traditional manor style murder mystery rather like “Gosford Park” (though “Gosford Park” is a much better version of the genre) or “Agatha Christie’s Crooked House” and the traditional greedy battle over the inheritance by the undeserving and uncaring family members. I loved the old woman character, Greatnana Wanetta, played by K Callan! She steals every single scene she in.
As I said, really bad acting but fun. The characters are all over-the-top stereotypical portraits of the genre and several are very annoying but for the most part, they only have short bursts of appearances then they go away for awhile.
At first I wasn’t sure if the director was going for a comedy or spoof of the manor house mystery and the traditional, disposition of inheritance plot, especially the first time Daniel Craig’s character first spoke any dialogue. Once I got past the shock of Craig’s irritatingly bad accent, I settled in and enjoyed the rest of the movie. I wouldn’t want to watch it again, right away, but it was mildly entertaining, if a bit too long.
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