While some international reviews hail ‘A Haunting in Venice’ as Kenneth Branagh’s best Hercule Poirot film, others claim it ruins the talented cast.
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Agatha Christie’s detective Hercule Poirot, portrayed by Kenneth Branagh, will make his third appearance in cinemas today, September 15th. ‘A Haunting in Venice’ follows ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (2017) and last year’s ‘A Haunting in Venice.’ International reviews have praised the latest installment, but it’s also seen as something that wastes its talented cast.
A Haunting in Venice: A Voice for Agatha Christie Purists
The wrap mentioned in their review, “Unlike Branagh’s first two Poirot films, which were faithful adaptations of Christie’s novels, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ is a looser adaptation of the novel ‘Hallowe’en Party’ – considered one of Christie’s lesser works – and I’m more inspired by it.”
The Los Angeles Times also echoed this sentiment, saying, “Filmed on location in grand style by cinematographer Haris Zambarloukos, ‘A Haunting in Venice’ is the best of Branagh’s three big-screen Poirot adaptations, chiefly because it’s also the most unabashedly unfaithful.” Empire states, “Adapting Christie novels with wild abandon for a third time, I’m here for the guilty-pleasure ride it always brings to the table. But every time, I’m left disappointed by that dazzling indulgence – and here, the moments of fake-out, hammy overacting that plague the film, and the criminal waste of supporting cast too.”
Astonishing to Watch
The New York Times review has mentioned, “What’s compatible is what’s stunning to look at – Harris Zambarloukos’ attractive cinematography – which marks this film’s true style as a lavish throwback to Hollywood entertainment of old.”
The Guardian compared ‘A Haunting in Venice’ to ‘Death on the Nile‘ and said, “It looks at least a bit better than its predecessor, which used shoddy digital effects and rear-projection to suggest Egypt and the Nile River.”
The Guardian’s review claimed the film wasted its exceptional cast. It penned, ‘Whenever a fresh Branagh/Poirot production graces the screen, I eagerly indulge in some guilty-pleasure amusement, and without fail, it infuses a fundamental vitality into the character.’ But every time, I’m disappointed by that extravagant indulgence – and here, the moments of false endings, hammy overacting that is on display in the film, and the criminal squandering of supporting actors too.”
Not for Horror Enthusiasts
The NYT review suggests the film may disappoint horror fans. “While it might not fully satisfy aficionados of the enigma, its eerie attributes undeniably render it a mysterious encounter within the realm of horror. For one thing, it’s very talky.” The review mentions that Branagh, who cut his teeth in cinematic terror when making Frankenstein, feels more experienced as an actor in grander, Gothic horror moments.
‘A Haunting in Venice’ is directed by Kenneth Branagh, who also takes on the leading role of the enigmatic detective. Crafted under the banner of 20th Century Studios, this impressive ensemble boasts the talents of Tina Fey, Michelle Yeoh, and Jamie Dornan.