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  • Writer's pictureEllis Barthorpe

Death on the Nile ★★

Kenneth Branagh

Starring Gal Gadot, Russell Brand, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, Tom Bateman, Sophie Okonedo

Who doesn't love a murder mystery? The tension, the blaming and shaming, the glitz and glamour! There's so much general affection for playing a game of whodunnit whilst watching the biggest actors imaginable chew the scenery.

After a lukewarm reception with his first Agatha Christie adaptation in Murder on the Orient Express, Kenneth Branagh returns as one of the most famous detectives, to solve a murder on a boat (it's all in the title).

Or is it? Around an hour of character building and stern looks see us through before any actual death happens, and although still having unexpected moments, the mystery element was fairly easy to predict. Perhaps now modern audiences expect more from a mystery; with an increase in mystery-drama series', people have witnessed many possible outcomes.

On paper, the cast is a stellar one. With Gal Gadot being the main event accompanied by French & Saunders (Dawn & Jennifer), Russell Brand, Emma Mackey, Sophie Okonedo and of course Branagh himself, this would surely be smooth-sailing. But the ride is a bumpy one, and when the cast are assembled, it all feels rather messy. Although no-one in particular is fighting for the limelight, there's nothing particularly likeable about the way these filthy-rich characters are played.

Despite its expected twists and turns, Kenneth Branagh's most recent outing as Hercule Poirot is perhaps a little too late to pull the trigger.

Death on the Nile available in cinemas now

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