MOVIESPOP CULTUREKNIVES OUT: WHODUNNIT

Just a quick note. I’m not going to talk about Rain Johnson’s ​Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie beyond this point. Just know that rather or not you liked his film in that universe doesn’t matter. While fans of ​Star Wars​ can like ​Knives Out​, it still isn’t made with that audience in mind. My point is if you are not a fan of ​Star Wars: The Last Jedi ​you shouldn’t let it affect your...
Aaron Vaughn3 months ago11913 min
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Just a quick note. I’m not going to talk about Rain Johnson’s ​Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie beyond this point. Just know that rather or not you liked his film in that universe doesn’t matter. While fans of ​Star Wars​ can like ​Knives Out​, it still isn’t made with that audience in mind. My point is if you are not a fan of ​Star Wars: The Last Jedi ​you shouldn’t let it affect your opinion on ​Knives Out​. I’m going to stop here out of fear of saying something that might anger any fan. I’ll save that for another time, when I just want to annoy half of that ​Star Wars f​ an base.
Knives Out ​is written and directed by Rain Johnson, a man that has made his career off of aggressively embarrassing genre cliches. His first film, ​Brick,​ was a low budget neo noir film that took place in a high school. It has garnered a cult following and I recommend it to anybody that has an interest in low budget filmmaking or good films in general. He then went onto to do The Brothers Bloom,​ an enjoyably flawed con film. His most subtle work is without a doubt Looper​, and that one ended up being one of my favorite science fiction of all time. Up their with both ​Blade Runner a​ nd ​Alien​. It shouldn’t be surprising that I was excited for ​Knives Out​ and when Danie Craig and Micheal Shannon joined the cast that only added it to my excitement. Plus, I love it when films dive into genre cliches like it’s crack cocaine. For this one, Rain Johnson dived into many of the ideas that we have seen in many 1950s murder mystery serials. If you’re at all familiar with Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot character or the classic show ​Murder She Wrote,​ you’ll be more than at home with this film. I’ve seen the film and it’s not only my favorite film of the year, it’s now one a new personal favorite.
The story is centered around the death of ​Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a famous crime novelist and this movie’s Agatha Christie. After his death, Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Criag) starts to investigate what looks to be a suicide. I really can’t say beyond that. I don’t even want to tell you who the main character is. I’ve actually been upset that some other reviews have been telling people who the main character is. This is a movie that embrasses a classic formula but also does things to twist it.
I feel like reviewers telling people how it twiststhe formula kind of spoils it. The movie is still fun regardless, but I think you should still give the audience the experience of learning everything for the first time.For the film’s positives, they are countless. The film’s writing is excellent. Is it realistic? No. But is it still well written? Yes. The best dialogue isn’t realistic. It’s fun, compelling, and/or thrilling. Rain Johnson’s script does all of this. This is a funny script. There are so many nuances in this film’s script. I’ve seen this film twice since it came out and in the second viewing there were so many hidden punchlines within the film’s script that I didn’t notice before. I was still excited as the film progressed, even though I had already seen it two days before. Though I recommend seeing the movie knowing as little as possible, the film still remains exciting even if you know everything. I know how engaging this movie was when I figured out the mystery before the big reveal. At what I think is the halfway point I had figured out who did it and well before that I figure the main method of murder. When I watched ​Murder on the Orient Express (​ the recent version) I had actually managed to go into the movie not knowing anything about the original story. I still figured it out halfway through and the movie became incredibly boring. I can imagine for someone that is familiar with that story that it would be boring from the start. It’s because that movie was so reliant on the twist of who did the crime. With ​Knives Out i​ t’s still fun after figuring it out. In fact, that’s part of the fun. If you figured it out, it’s still fun to watch this other character go through the mystery. That’s the signs of a good script.
The direction of the film is also full of so much energy. There’s moment in the film where it starts moving like a speeding bullet and it’s thrilling. The direction of this film has a lot of character that is very rare. Rain Johnson goes to great extents to make the film feel over the top and corny. This is all accompanied by some of the most over dramatic acting that I’ve ever seen, especially from Daniel Craig. He has this very southern Colonel Sanders sounding accent. No one talks like that and it’s great. Without a doubt the standout is Daniel Criag, but many others stick out too. Chris Evan, Christopher Plummer, and Micheal Shannon are the main ones that come to mind. These characters are all made out to be very dramatic which just adds to the overall over the top direction of the movie.
When it comes to negatives, I really only have one. There are so many colorful characters in the movie and Rain Johnson goes out of his way to establish them. But a couple of these characters don’t really get any time to display these colorful personalities. We’ll have a moment where a character is explained but then they only gets a couple seconds to display their personality on screen. I can see people being thrown off by this, but I do think it’s better than just having bland blank slates on the screen. To be fair to the film, there are so many characters in this film that they can’t all get a chance to shine. It’s something that I’m willing to accept, but it might bother some others.
To conclude, I love ​Knives Out.​ It’s one of the best movies this year and though it might be a little too early to say, it might be a new personal favorite. I’m actually worn out on most sequels, but I want a sequel to this. It doesn’t set up for one, and I’m perfectly content with it standing on its own. I would love to see them just turn this into a modern day crime franchise. It’s not needed, but it would be really cool. I highly recommend seeing this movie not only once, but at least twice. Go see it soon before anything is spoiled, then watch it again some time later to find all the hidden humor within. That sounds like something that only film fanatics would do, but I do think it’s something that the general audience can get a kick out of. Go see this movie, it’s one of the greatest.

Aaron Vaughn

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