films seen
8
average score
2.06*
nationality
UK - 61 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

The inoffensive

Death on the Nile

by Kenneth Branagh
2022 / 127m - UK
Mystery
3.0*/5.0*
Death on the Nile poster

A logical sequel. Branagh's Orient Express did wonderfully well, and there's plenty of Poirot material left to turn into films, so why not have another go at it. This second film is pretty much on par with the first. It's a jolly whodunit with some welcome winks, but it's not a film that pushes any boundaries.

Poirot finds himself in Egypt, where he bumps into his old friend Bouc. Bouc invites Poirot along to a wedding, an invitation he gladly accepts. He joins the couple on their honeymoon, which takes a sudden detour when an ex of the husband starts following him and his new wife everywhere they go.

It takes a while before the first body is found and the actual whodunit starts, but the first hour is probably the best of the film. A slick, cheeky and juicy pastiche. The core whodunit part is basic and predictable, a series of revelations, everything neatly wrapped up at the end. It's decent enough fodder, never excellent, but entertaining nonetheless.

Murder on the Orient Express

by Kenneth Branagh
2017 / 114m - USA
Crime,Mystery
3.0*/5.0*
Murder on the Orient Express poster

Cinderella

by Kenneth Branagh
2015 / 105m - USA
Fantasy,Romance
3.0*/5.0*
Cinderella poster

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit

by Kenneth Branagh
2014 / 105m - USA
Action,Thriller
3.0*/5.0*
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit poster

Pretty decent spy thriller. While the story and setup are hardly original and the cast is a little doubty at times, Branagh gives the film the right amount of flair. Just enough visual panache, just enough tension. It's not an easy film to recommend as there's little that sets it apart, but overall it's well-made and decent.

Plain forgettable

Artemis Fowl

by Kenneth Branagh
2020 / 95m - USA
Adventure,Fantasy
1.5*/5.0*
Artemis Fowl poster

A pretty expensive flop from Disney (and Branagh). They must've figured that the IP was enough to draw crowds to the cinema, but then a worldwide pandemic happened. And well, at least it kept people from overspending on this lackluster disaster. This is not how you do compelling fantasy.

The film is aimed at a younger audience, though many of its popular references (David Bowie, Foreigner) seem to be reserved for the parents accompanying their kids. Regardless of the film's target audience though, Shaw gives a cringeworthy performance, the fantasy designs are lazy and the plot is messy.

I'm sure this film was meant the first part of a franchise, but the way things are going I wouldn't expect any sequels anytime soon. Artemis Fowl turned out to be a pretty expensive flop, with few redeeming elements and no clear path forward. Let's just hope Disney pulls the plug, so we don't need to sit through any follow-ups.

Frankenstein

by Kenneth Branagh
1994 / 123m - USA
Drama,Horror
1.5*/5.0*
Frankenstein poster

Big nopes

Belfast

by Kenneth Branagh
2021 / 98m - UK
Drama
1.0*/5.0*
Belfast poster

Branagh's style is suited for a bit of retro charm with a wink and a nudge, but doing half a Schindler's List really isn't something he can pull off. Belfast is a hopelessly outdated film, with a fake arthouse look, a random score and a set of unlovable characters. Putting it like that, it's a perfect Oscar contender.

Buddy is a young kid growing up in Belfast. Protestants are targeting Christians, his dad works in England to pay off their debt, and he isn't able to talk to his favorite girl in school. As the civil unrest grows, his parents are contemplating moving to a different city, something Buddy can't even fathom.

The black and white cinematography appears to have been an afterthought, the city looks like a bad movie set, characters are bland and Buddy is a pretty annoying kid. It's just a very cheesy and sentimental drama where the drama never feels earned or sincere. Branagh should stick to Poirot.

Irritation overload

Thor

by Kenneth Branagh
2011 / 115m - USA
Adventure,Fantasy
0.5*/5.0*
Thor poster