Knives Out

Gosh, who isn’t in this movie? Surprisingly not a Sutherland in sight, even though it’s right in that wheelhouse. The first film from Rian Johnson since the visually beautiful, but narratively horrible Last Jedi, Knives is a fun, diverting romp that hides its flaws well.

The author of an incredible amount of murder mystery’s has died under mysterious circumstances. All signs point to suicide, but the payment of a sum of money to famed private investigator and Colonel Sanders impersonator Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) makes him believe that foul play is afoot. It doesn’t hurt that the dead author’s family is full of bad attitudes and secrets.

The obvious whodunnit genre is turned on its head when we are very quickly told who exactly dunnit. The story quickly becomes more of a how are they going to cover it up? sort of movie. A little bit of a bait and switch which is just clever enough to make you forget that Benoit Blanc is such a cop of Hercule Peroit of Agatha Christie fame.

The film is a measure of how much the audience can take. Direct references to current events tend to drag, but clever wordplay and call backs draw you right back in. Unfortunately, the whole film feels like a third or fourth novel in the life of Benoit Blanc and we are left wondering just what was his old case that made him famous? Certainly something larger than the murder of an author.

Regardless, Knives Out is a movie you and your parents will like. It’s perfectly serviceable in all the right ways without doing much to expand or redefine the genre. And it is fun to see Daniel Craig chew scenery.

3 out of 4 stars.

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