Before he gets completely lost to us all in the Star Wars Universe, he’s currently writing a further three episodes, possibly directing them too, Rian Johnson brings us a sleuth-based yarn that would make Agatha Christie proud.
Knives Out is a gloriously funny, well written and hilariously portrayed film that harks back to the Sherlock Holmes movies of yore whilst keeping its feet firmly in the here and now and bringing elements of the inept detective in, such as Inspector Clouseau.
Rain keeps it all zipping along at a cracking pace, and the cast is absolutely stellar. Benoit Blanc, Daniel Craig (“Logan Lucky“, “Spectre“), is the “consulting detective” who is helping Lieutenant Elliott, LaKeith Stanfield (“Selma”, “War Machine“), and Trooper Wagner, Noah Segan (“Looper”, “Brick”).
He has been hired, but he knows not by whom, to solve the, seemingly straightforward suicide of the great writer Harlan Thrombey, Christopher Plumber (“All The Money In The World“, “Up”), who has turned up dead one morning after his 85th birthday party.
The suspects are many: Ransom Drysdale, Chris Evans (“Avengers: Endgame“, “Ant-man“), the young black sheep of the family. Marta Cabrera, Ana de Armas (“Blade Runner 2049“, “The Informer”), Harlan’s nurse. Linda Drysdale, Jamie Lee Curtis (“True Lies”, “Halloween”), the self-made daughter. Walt Thrombey, Michael Shannon (“The Shape Of Water“, “Midnight Special“), the son who manages the publishing house for his famous father.
Or there’s Richard Drysdale, Don Johnson (“Dragged Across Concrete“, “Brawl In Cell Block 99“), Linda’s husband who has secrets of his own, or maybe it’s Joni Thrombey, Toni Collette (“Little Miss Sunshine”, “Wanderlust (TV)”), who married into the family but has zero intention of leaving.
Elliott and Wagner seem intent on closing the case as a suicide, but Beniot has different ideas. They interview the whole family, and Marta, whom Beniot decides to keep close, even calling her Watson.
But all is not as it seems and not everyone is telling the truth. Beniot sees through it, but he isn’t, or doesn’t appear, to be quite all there in terms of getting the full picture. When the will is read and Harlan has left everything to Marta, it sparks yet more in-fighting in the family, and things twist round again.
Johnson keeps us guessing throughout, the plot twists and turns and as the family fights, Marta does too as she tries to get her head around everything that’s going on and who is truly on her side.
Knives Out is funny, very funny and, whilst some of you may roll your eyes at Craig doing another Southern-drawl accent (I’m not quite sure why he didn’t do it in his best British voice, surely that would have worked?), but that aside the film works on so many levels and everyone has their chance to shine, and they all take it.