With Daniel Craig in the center as a detective who’s got nothing much to chew on in the beginning, this film sparkles with humour and first-rate mystery.
When you first hear Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), you’ll burst out laughing. It’s two-quarters due to his accent and the other two quarters due to the fact that you’ve never seen James Bond speak like that before. He’s partly focusing on his inner Hercule Poirot and letting his sagely acting chops take care of the rest. When he begins to gather details from the family members of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) to understand the squabbles that may have been brewing on the night of the murder, or suicide, you’ll notice how keenly he listens to the suspects.
Blanc hasn’t yet mentioned that they’re all suspects, but the audiences already know that one of them has got something to do with Thrombey’s death. We’re, by now, used to the genre via several fiction works by Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle, and, fortunately, their books have been turned into films, too. So, when one character after another lies about the nature of their arguments involving the deceased person on his 85th birthday party, you arrive at a point where you cast doubts on everybody.
You might call this a classic recipe for goose bumps, and, since eliminating the suspects becomes impossible after most of the facts have tumbled out, you tend to wait for the big-reveal on the edge of your seat. The A-list cast members, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, and Michael Shannon, who play various members of the Thrombey family, bring their anger and disappointment to the table perfectly.
It’s almost as if writer-director Rian Johnson wanted to say that the problem with rich people lies in them wanting to get richer – these comments are mixed together with some of the characters’ views on immigrants, as well. No filmmaker in this kind of a set up would want to just take the camera to the bloodstained carpets in the opening scene and end the movie with a grand musical score when the culprit finally gets caught. You also feel the pressure to scan for clues, so, that way, “Knives Out” allows you to enjoy the proceedings and offers you a chance to be a step ahead of Blanc sometimes.