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‘See How They Run’ (Digital HD review)

Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap has famously run uninterrupted – save for a forced hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic – in London’s West End since its debut in 1952.

Infamously, the play is one of the few Christie creations that has not seen a film adaptation, thanks to the contract terms dictating that no such adaptation may be made until the play has been closed for at least six months.

However, with See How They Run, the play serves as the focal point around which this cute little caper revolves and unfolds, as it tells the story of how the aggressively unlikable director Leo Köpernick is found murdered.

And as it often goes with whodunnits, everybody is a suspect.

Sam Rockwell portrays the drunken Inspector Stoppard tasked with solving the murder, but it is often Saoirse Ronan’s Constable Stalker who picks up on more clues and further forwards the investigation, even if she seemingly has a tendency to jump to conclusions.

What ensues is a rather entertaining film that has a certain sardonic edge that purposefully keeps it verging on the edge of lovingly parodying the genre in general – and Christie’s narrative trademarks in particular – without actually becoming an outright parody.

Rockwell and Ronan makes the proceedings easy to watch as they are after all some of the best actors working today, and the same can be said for the rest of the cast, as everyone appears to have had a whale of a time making the film.

However, as a whole, See How They Run is a little too on the light side narratively, with the twists being a little too easy to predict well in advance, and the story as a whole being a little too simplistic and formulaic for the genre.

In fact, See How They Run has more in common with the contemporary ITV adaptations of Christie’s works, which is not necessarily a bad thing as such, but it does, however, mean that the film is not able to compete with the likes of Knives Out in terms of narrative complexity, nor is the visual style as sincerely elevated as the high concept of features such as Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, which the film is clearly seeking to emulate.

Extras include featurette and trailer.

For those who enjoy their light entertainment with a bit of murder, See How They Run is a perfectly serviceable film with which one can easily spend 98 minutes this winter, snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and a warm beverage of their choice.

But for those who are looking for a whodunnit with sincere panache, Rian Johnson’s Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery will undoubtedly be the feature that is not only bestowed the honor of meriting a theatrical viewing, but also the one that is more memorable in terms of both the whodunnit genre specially and cinema in general.

3 out of 5 stars

 

 

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