Hercule Poirot attends a dinner party in which one of the guests clutches his throat and suddenly dies. The cause seems to be natural until another party with most of the same guests produces another corpse.
An American movie actress, best known for playing dumb blondes, is Scotland Yard's prime suspect when her husband, Lord Edgware, is murdered. The great detective, Hercule Poirot, digs deeper into the case.
In this TV movie, a classic mystery is updated and relocated to a glamorous world of London socialites and secret agents, introducing two unique and compelling investigators and taking us through to the highest corridors of power.
Oliver Ford Davies,
Mild-mannered mystery writer D. H. Mercer has become so immersed in his material that his creation, hard-boiled private eye Biff Deegan constantly appears to him as a hallucination. Intent ... See full summary »
Catherine Mary Stewart,
Agatha Christie's classic whodunit speeds into the twenty-first century. World-famous sleuth Hercule Poirot has just finished a case in Istanbul and is returning home to London onboard the luxurious Orient Express. But, the train comes to a sudden halt when a rock slide blocks the tracks ahead. And all the thrills of riding the famous train come to a halt when a man discovered dead in his compartment, stabbed nine times. The train is stranded. No one has gotten on or gotten off. That can only mean one thing: the killer is onboard, and it is up to Hercule Poirot to find him. Written by
Normally, I am not the kind of critic who tears some film to pieces only because it tries to modernize a material already known. But in this case, I really don't know where to start with my complaints.
What good is there in modernizing a crime novel by Agatha Christie whose main character is liked by many mainly because of his slightly old-fashioned style? In this film, Poirot uses the internet to support his grey cells; the characters he interrogates are software tycoons and personal trainers; and, worst of all, he is shown terribly in love with a sexy Russian woman (who, moreover, is given the name of the original old lady on the train, who is here unnecessarily replaced by the widow of a South American dictator!). This is not Hercule Poirot, this is not Agatha Christie, and therefore, the whole movie itself doesn't make any sense. Sidney Lumet's brilliant 1974 film version starring Albert Finney, was perfectly all right.
Although they wanted to put as many fashionable modernisms into the story as possible, the filmmakers tried to retain as many elements of the original structure as possible and suffered an embarrassing failure. A lot of logical problems arise out of this frantic `adaptation': In the year 2001, why does a business man whose life is under threat, awkwardly travel by train rather than by plane? Why can't, in a period of cell phones and internet (the availability of which is quite frequently demonstrated), police be at the scene of the crime in less than an hour? And watch out for the ridiculous pile of stones that is supposed to prevent the Orient Express from proceeding for more than a whole day!
The list of idiotic features is long. The essence of it is: Friends of Poirot, do not watch this TV movie! It is the most awful literary adaptation one can imagine. By the way, it is the first movie ever I have ranked 1 out of possible 10 points.
11 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?