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    December 3, 2019

    REVIEW: KNIVES OUT

    Rian Johnson is the man who brought you “Looper” and “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (Yes, I can see the fence is quickly building up). His latest effort is a modern spin on the murder mystery and thriller, that tackles the whodunit genre eloquently – entitled “Knives Out”, starring Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Christopher Plummer. It is safe to say that I am genuinely thrilled and entertained by “Knives Out”.

    It is important to point out that “Knives Out” does not seem to be reinvigorating the good old genre, but rather, it plays out as an old-fashion murder mystery in a good and fun way. Thank God, it does not take itself too serious like Kenneth Branagh’s “The Murder on the Orient Express” and totally avoiding the goofiness as well as over-plotting as in “Happy Death Day”. It is a straight-forward movie that will leave you less convoluted and bizarrely amused by its good mix of humour, character development and ingenious breadcrumbs (but also questionably plausible).

    Rian Johnson delivers an entertaining and thrilling ride in “Knives Out”, which of course started out in the most formulaic plotting way. The death of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a patriarch figure of a wealthy family, who apparently committed suicide and leaves behind a big fortune. However, the family’s grieving is interrupted when a well-known PI Blanc Benoit (Daniel Craig) comes to investigate. He takes interest in Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan’s personal nurse and quickly recruited her to help him in the investigation.

    As the plot moves along, the audiences will quickly learn that the breadcrumbs are both linear and non-linear. Under Johnson’s methodological scripts, the plot decides to spend a great amount of time dissecting the mystery from Benoit and Marta’s perspectives. The other factor that is also working in favour is how excited it is to watch the ensemble cast having sort of fun and ripping the hell of each other (literally). Somewhere along the lines, it seems typical of a rich family to have these sort of “misbehave” I assume.

    Without giving too many details that potentially can be spoilers, it suffices for me to say that Johnson has delivered the twists and turns effectively (although understandably some may say “I have seen that coming!”). "Knives Out" is indeed one of the few technical victories in the story and character-driven cinematic experience of the year. The oddball here is his decision to include some political arguments in the mix (left vs right banters sound fun), while my only letdown with “Knives Out” is the third act. Although it may not be the strongest reveal in cinematic history, it is certainly still a rewarding ending.



    “Knives Out” is well-made, well-acted, as well as genuinely thrilling and fun to watch. Rating: 8.5/10.0

    "Knives Out" is written and directed by Rian Johnson; rated PG13; released beginning 28/11/2019; ran for 130 minutes; and distributed locally by TGV Pictures for Lionsgate.

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