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“See how they run:” Harmless fun with a deadly twist

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Agatha Christie is currently the it girl of the Hollywood scenario.

The literary capital of the iconic novelist has, in recent years, come to life on the big screen. Agatha Christie’s Verse has scored box office hits with faithful adaptations of her novels, like Kenneth Branaugh’s 2017 and 2022 films “Murder on the Orient Express” and “Death on the Nile,” or with love letters to his work as Rian Johnson’s hit movie turned “Knives Out” franchise.

“See How They Run” is the latest addition to the series of mystery films hitting theaters in light of Christie’s cinematic renaissance. In a solid directorial debut, British TV native Tom George brings together a critically acclaimed cast of theatrical actors, led by duo Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan, and stars them in a nostalgic crime spectacle set in London’s West End theater district in the 1950s. . When sleazy Hollywood producer Leo Köpernick (Adrien Brody) is murdered backstage at the theater housing the play he hopes to make for the screen, “The Mousetrap,” based on the work of, you guessed it, Agatha Christie , Inspector Stoppard, played by Rockwell, is recruited to take charge of the case with the unwelcome help of movie-obsessed amateur cop Constable Stalker, played by Ronan.

As the disappearance of Brody’s character takes center stage in the story, the ghost of another Hollywood director haunts the screen. Wes Anderson may very well be the real murder victim of ‘See How They Run’, with split footage and an original edit of the Technicolor costumes and stock characters pulled straight from ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’ being the star. main attraction of the film. Even a cast of Anderson regulars take top billing credits and live up to their usual eccentric quirkiness.

Ronan gave an outstanding comedic performance as a serious cop who self-depreciates in training, proving once again the versatility of the four-time Oscar nominee. Rockwell does good with what he’s given, his detective persona not necessarily eclipsing Ronan’s despite having the upper hand on their professional noses, but the two actors do share a sweet chemistry. David Oyelowo as Mervyn, Köpernick’s scriptwriting nemesis over creative differences, is a classy addition to the set of BAFTA favorites – and like many actors, he’s obviously having a good time there. -down.

“See How They Run” speaks directly to thriller lovers, literally addressing its audience in the prologue to make sure they’re well aware that they’re sitting in on another murder mystery. “You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” is the repeated line directed at the plot’s centerpiece, “The Mousetrap,” but in a meta way, the film carries a self-aware attitude that continually winks at his audience.

Altogether, “See How They Run” is another murder mystery hitting screens, but it’s still a thrilling adventure. It occasionally gets lost in its twists along the way, but it pieced together its puzzle with a satisfying finale. With its quick and easy 98-minute runtime, the film rarely drags, balancing a seated-in-your-seat viewing experience while keeping you on your toes. There’s a reason Christie’s books made her the best-selling novelist of all time: the formula works.

“See How They Run” is by no means original, nor does it evolve the genre as cleverly as “Knives Out”, but it never tries to be anything other than what it is: a mystery. of murder. It offers a series of Leonardo Dicaprio-style finger-pointing moments in the style of “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.” Mystery buffs and Christie admirers will be pleased with the film’s indulgence in whodunit conventions. Unwittingly for moviegoers, they might very well be delighted by the abundance of Anderson-isms, either happily spitting on movie acquaintances like Constable Stalker or leaving the theater furious that George may have stolen the director’s signature style and get away with petty crimes. If you identify with one, two, or none of these identities as an audience member, you’re guaranteed to flick a finger across the screen at some point. “See How They Run” is a solid viewing experience and a fun time at the movies, and that’s all it needs.

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