This Week's Review: "Knives Out"

The Kindly Old Professor (a.k.a. the Curmudgeon) took time from the delights of composing final examinations to go see “Knives Out.” (That phrase probably describes the attitude of his victims/students.) The film is good, murderous fun, but it is far from perfect.

The resemblance of the script to the novels of Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Ngaio Marsh, and Dorothy Sayers is no coincidence. A gloomy old house stocked with all sorts of dangerous weapons, an obscenely rich old man, and his greedy, ungrateful, and malevolent heirs, all add to the venomous atmosphere; the only thing missing is Hercule Poirot, Albert Campion, or Roderick Allen to sort out the motives and methods of the killer (or killers). What we get is Daniel Craig with a very affected Southern accent.

Craig is never entirely comfortable with his role, but he puts up a valiant effort. Christopher Plummer, Jamie Lee Curtis, and others add to the fun. The murderer is well concealed and the ambiguous clues are fair. Some subplots are not resolved, but we can’t have everything.

As for Craig, it is very interesting that the first trailers for the next Bond film have appeared. The timing is fortuitous.