Mildly Entertaining If You Don't Know the Older Version
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 08/20/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Modernized adaptation of Agatha Christie classic mystery? Excuse me, but what is the point?
Anyway, the famous story about the murder on the Orient Express is retold. A stubbed body is found in a train on which a world-renowned detective Poirot is traveling from Istanbul. The passengers are interrogated, but their contradicting statements only help confuse the investigation.
So far, the same, but remember, this time the story is told in modern setting. That means Poirot doesn't have to use his brain to obtain some of the important information. Blackmailing is done with a video tape, and luckily one of the car is equipped with a VCR. In case you think the new film lost the exotic touch, it can show you a belly dancer.
There are also some visible changes done to the Christie's whodunit, most of which are pointless. For example, the train is stopped by rockslide, not by avalanche, which means much less claustrophobic feeling. Hercule Poirot (Alfred Molina) has a girlfriend in Istanbul named Vera (Tasha de Vasconcelos) and she happens to a reformed thief.
And of course there is a murder. Sorry that I cannot reveal too much about it, but if you have seen the Sidney Lumet film or read the original book, this remake would only disappoint you. Alfred Molina is not bad the Belgian sleuth, but he is not Albert Finney who was in character.
Of course you don't always have to compare. Some people have not seen the 1974 version, and they will see the newer version without (perhaps unfair) comparison. However, even they might find the murder mystery here too slow and talky, and the solution is way too incredible. Actually, most of the Christie books end with incredible solutions, but there is one unique quality about the original story of the `Murder on the Orient Express' which is totally missing in the new version.
That is, as you know (and I am trying to write without spoilers), Agatha Christie's story is inspired by one of the biggest and most notorious real-life crimes committed in the history of America as the background of her story. The (unsolved, some say) mystery plays a significant role in the original book and Sidney Lumet film, but in the new film it is completely taken away, replaced by one fictional crime that is not intriguing at all. The altered setting makes the whole story less authentic and the motive of the killer or killers more unaccountable.
Remakes are often considered unnecessary, but some of them can hold on its ground against the originals. You may prefer the original Peter Lorre version, but the remade "The Man Who Knew Too Much" is generally more popular than the other. As far as `Murder on the Orient Express' is concerned, however, I don't see any reason this should be told again."
Markus Egger | Spring, TX United States | 04/21/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I am not thrilled by this movie to be honest. I didn't realize that it was adopted to 2005 (it actually *plays* in 2005). It is done well enough I guess. Not overly great, but not bad either.
I think a lot of the charm of the novel comes from the time it is set in, and to me, moving this into the 21st century ruins that. If you are looking for an Agatha Christie feeling, look elsewhere.
If it's not broke,don't remake it.
John D. Page | usa | 05/23/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"why does hollywood always think that instead of tring new things that they must remake old movies,even when they were good. this misfire starts of bad by tring to move the story into morden times, and that is where the whole thing sinks!!! not good at all."
We need a vaccine to immunize Hollywood against unneeded rem
Bruce W. Britton | Santa Clarita, CA USA | 10/01/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not going to reiterate other reviewers' specific criticisms of this movie. However some general comments for your consideration...
Dame Agatha's books and characters seem at times to suffer mightily at the hands of filmmakers. For example, take George Pollock's four early '60s films starring Margaret Rutherford, whose Miss Marple bore little or no resemblance to the character in the books. Remakes have been even less kind to the Dame. The best (worst?) example of remake-itis is And Then There Were None. Rene Clair's 1945 B&W film is very good (two versions available, restored original or bargain priced), and true to Agatha Christie's play of the same name (which has a justifiably different ending from the novel). ATTWN was remade twice (in 1965 and 1974), and neither came up to the standard of the original.
That brings us to Murder on the Orient Express. Sidney Lumet's 1974 film of Agatha Christie's remarkable novel was a star-studded atmospheric period piece. This 2001 made-for-TV remake, brought into the Internet age, was an incredible waste of time and money. For the same price as this turkey (which didn't air until 2005, which ought to tell you something), you can get the stellar 1974 version on DVD for (at this writing) the same price! Spend your money wisely."