Well bollocks, turns out I did know the ending!
You ever have something either ruined or spoiled for you, and yet somehow you didn't know? Like it wasn't this buildup to a reveal, it was more or less just said in conversation and your brain didn't register it? Because all throughout Murder On The Orient Express, I was paying attention to the facts, not jumping ahead to any conclusions (though I did make several correct deductions), being calm and collected and not being spirited away by my theories and thoughts and just soaked it all in. However! In the back of my mind, that thought kept nudging. You know the one, where your brain is pretty much telling you, you already know the truth/ending/reveal. Did this hurt my enjoyment of the film? Surprisingly not, cause there were twists, and revelations that led to the big reveal that I did not know so it was this, really weird and surreal feeling where you know the ending and yet did not know the events leading up to it. Same sort of thing happened with Psycho for me. But I digress so we can actually get on with it! Murder On The Orient Express, though a classic story has been done justice in my opinion, and you know what really surprised me? This is a movie that could actually tell the story in modern time, but it chooses to stay in 1934 so visually, the film is spectacular! The fashion, sets, and setting all look wonderful. Our story follows a world renowned detective having to spontaneously board the Orient Express, where shock of all shocks, a murder takes place, the train is stuck in an avalanche, leaving the detective to solve the crime before the train can move on and the culprit can escape. Now while this is a very star studded cast, what I loved was, the characters were not one dimensional and just the actors who potrayed them. There is backstory, and important tidbits of information to almost each and every character, making them feel more real and not, oh that's just that suspicious looking guy, or it's just that mousy girl who is shy. There's more to them than that so I was very happy it wasn't just stereotype on top of stereotype. The mystery aspect is done very well, with enough twists and revelations to keep it interesting and not seem absurd with a new twist every 10 minutes. The logic of the crime solving is legitimate and there's no huge Sherlockian moments where the case is nearly completed in less than 60 seconds. Our detective is a perfectionist, very OCD, so detective work is merely an extension of his normal everyday life, he's not a super intelligent genius but he is intelligent and uses common sense and logic to solve the case and find evidence. It could have been so easy to make him an eccentric genius with a superhuman brain, but they did not and I applaud them for that. All the actors do their parts well, though Judi Dench is criminally underused, seriously how dare you? But anyway, another major positive is there is no red herrings, or fake outs with who killed our victim. Sure, you can have your suspicions but there is nothing concrete to go on. It reminds me a bit too much of Clue, downright to some scenes and instances which I can deal with, I love that movie to death so I guess one of the most underrated and cult classic of mystery films influenced this movie. But hey, I haven't read Agatha Christie's novel so maybe Murder On The Orient Express inspired Clue to a massive degree! Actually yeah, if I can go on one more brief tangent before I wrap this up, um what is the point of going to see a film adaptation of a crime or mystery novel if you have read the book? Like, you know how it ends and all the events leading up to it so why go see the movie? That never made sense, probably because it doesn't! Like what the hell is the point? Either watch the film or read the book. Granted this doesn't count with ALL books, I want to read all the Lord Of The Rings books including The Silmarillion even though I've seen the movies hundreds of times. So this gripe is only with murder mystery novels. Man, I really went off this time didn't I? It's rare I get this many tangents and ravings on my reviews so I'm sorry about that! Uh, to close the file on this one, if you legit do not know the ending go see the movie! This movie felt really concise and quick for a two hour movie, so I say go for it! But if you do know the ending, or read the book, or just don't care that much, pass it.