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  #101  
Old 03-09-2020, 10:54 AM
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Finally got round to seeing this, and was a bit disappointed.

I had concerns going in about an old-school whodunnit, but I think the things I had concerns about were all successfully executed:
  • The story had the right amount of twists. You can't play this kind of story straight any more; we're all too familiar with it. But an overly twists-on-twists heist-style story has itself become cliche. They got the balance right IMO.
  • The plot made logical sense. You need to suspend disbelief about how much the detective can infer, but I can't think of much else. The whole thing basically stood up.

But it still left me somewhat empty at the end. I think it's missing some of the more fun elements of a whodunnit, which I list below. In fairness the things I'm listing here are stylistic choices; there's nothing to say a whodunnit has to feature these things, but in their absence, I'm not sure what should go there instead.

1. Fun characters. OK, Evans and the girl were very good, but no-one else really stood out for me. I appreciate what Daniel Craig was trying to do, but the likeability just wasn't there for me. Meanwhile Christopher Plummer would have showed all the other spoiled heirs how to do it back in the day, but unfortunately has now aged out of a role like that.
2. Clues. It's still a film where you can play along and try to guess who did what, but I like this genre when random clues are thrown out that later will be explained. Those teasers can add a lot in getting you sucked in.
3. Fear. At the end of the day, someone died, and I like it when there's also a sinister, dark edge to proceedings. Which there was, but only in the third act, and not very much.
  #102  
Old 05-20-2020, 08:55 PM
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I watched it a third time and it still holds up. Knowing the entire plot, you can see how the characters' movements and reactions all fit into the overall story while still hiding the final payoff. I rented it on Amazon and watched Blanc's monologue 3 or 4 times and it's fun to pay attention to the small details, like Blanc dressing for action (taking off his jacket, rolling up his sleeves, tucking in his tie).

It is such a tight and well-constructed script that it's hard to reconcile with the dumpster fire that was The Last Jedi.
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