I really do quite enjoy films of this sort, the ones that present a mystery and give you little tidbits along the way. At least, that’s how this was initially framed and I was really loving it at the start. Things take a shift however and it kind of grants you an exact perspective into what actually happened. It’s cleverer than just that, but the direction it took created a rather boring core portion of the film. I like more teases, whereas this one did that and then took it away which was disappointing.
A movie can work either way, but it was sort of boring to then once again become interested just as things tapered off. That being said, I also found this rather predictable or perhaps I just lost a lot of my interest once the shift happened. So what we get here is a tale that revolves around a single detective named Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) as he investigates a death. It’s a strange one, an apparent suicide of a family member despite being surrounded by a very large group of family members. It would be hard to name them all, so only core members will be discussed as the review progresses.
It’s also worth noting that while the talent is deep here, it’s not all about them. It is a story based around their issues, but that gets moved away from as it squarely follows the detective, and his companion the caregiver of the murdered soul. She has, a unique ability that helps out in this investigation. It’s strange, as this is such a rich collection of eccentric characters that I felt were ultimately wasted.
This is quite well shot, a very good use of space and setting. It feels antique in nature having the feeling of an old style murder mystery, while still being set in the modern times. It’s an interesting mix, and they also do a fine balancing of technology with regular detecting.
I thought the acting was excellent, Craig is particularly good here. You can’t of course forget the key family members. There’s Ransom (Chris Evans), Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Walt (Michael Shannon) which stood out to me. There are others that were great, but they don’t receive as much of a focus as these ones do. There’s a lot going on in this, but it really shouldn’t be too hard to follow, and perhaps pick up on many background elements.
I did find that this was tonally a bit strange for me. At times it seemed to be a straight done comedy, but not all moments were funny and at the same time it was a serious drama. It didn’t lean enough in either direction for me to appreciate it hitting any of the specific genres that were displayed.
Knives Out is a really interesting mystery, yet at the same time felt as though it dragged during the center of it. The start of this was really great, then it took a weird turn while still finishing on somewhat of a high note. I knew where things were headed, and it dragged to get there. I felt as though they missed out on the full potential of this great cast, with the direction they chose to take.
It’s hard to really dive into this while keeping it spoiler free to witness for yourself, and that’s why I’m lightly touching on elements here. The film itself gives too much in my opinion, focusing on that instead of trying to keep it under wraps and it telegraphs things quite a bit during the run. I’m sure some folks will be completely amazed, as was apparent in the theater.
It just didn’t hit me like I had hoped, and I was truly engaged for the start of this one as it painted such a unique picture of this eccentric family where almost anything could have happened between them. Ultimately, they weren’t in the spotlight as much as I had hoped for.
Knives Out Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by Allied