Movie review: Knives Out

not The Last Jedi

knives outI went to see the movie Knives Out alone at the Spectrum Theatre in Albany in January 2020. There might have been a bit of trepidation that there would be a lot of stabbings or the like. It is a murder mystery, but the violence is brief.

It is much more the comedic murder mystery, though the humor is earned one you’ve gotten to know the parties involved. The victim of the murder or the suicide was Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), who the audience gets to know better in various flashback scenes.

Members of the household questioned by the police. They include Harlan’s daughter Linda Drysdale (Jamie Lee Curtis); her husband Richard (Don Johnson); and their son Hugh Ransom (Chris Evans). Also Harlan’s son Walt (Michael Shannon), in charge of the publishing, and Harlan’s widowed daughter-in-law Joni (Toni Collette), with a new-age line of products, plus others.

Certainly, one couldn’t suspect Harlan’s trusted caretaker, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), an immigrant from Paraguay or Brazil or ONE of those countries. The family couldn’t keep track.

WB

Some guy sitting in on the interviews remained mostly quiet at first. Soon enough, he made himself known. He is famed detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who has his own interest in the case. At one point, a family member says that Blanc sounds like Foghorn Leghorn. That’s a bit true, and note the detective’s surname.

I enjoyed Frank Oz as the put-upon probate lawyer, though I couldn’t place him until the end credits. “Of course,” I said aloud. A woman leaving in the row behind me whispered to me, “I love Frank Oz too.”

Rian Johnson, who wrote and directed Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi, has created a much different film here. It was funnier and more wacky as the dysfunctional family reveals itself. The movie even received a smattering of applause at the end. Agatha Christie might have been pleased.

I recommended Knives Out to my wife as the film I’d seen that was the most fun. My daughter was annoyed that I didn’t take her. I went on a school day and didn’t know if it’d be appropriate. It’s more like a sophisticated version of Murder, She Wrote, which is specifically referenced.