No matter who we are and what we stand for, I think this is something we can all agree on – there is nothing better than a great “whodunit” movie. Unfortunately, this genre either consists of stories we’ve seen done before (Agatha Christie novels being constantly made and remade) or movies that aren’t that great to begin with and rely only on some sort of twist, that doesn’t necessarily work upon multiple viewings. This is where Knives Out comes out and surpasses all expectations. I can’t even think of any new(ish) movie that would come anywhere near to the quality of this one, in the same genre.
You can think anything you want about Rian Johnson, but he doesn’t like to make predictable, boring movies as he’s always trying to do something slightly new. Sometimes, it doesn’t necessarily work for some people, so he might have created one of the most divisive movies of all time (my review for The Last Jedi can be found here) but some other times it works brilliantly (for almost everybody) and then we get films like this one.
What makes Knives Out unique in its “whodunit” category, is not only the fact the movie tells/shows you early on what has happened, but it’s based on an original story. Which works wonderfully, because even if you know what happened (or do you…?!) you are not quite sure where the rest of the film will lead you, so you follow it. And it might, or might not, surprise you several times along the way. I have seen this movie in the cinemas (oh, cinemas… I miss you so much) and I really, really liked it. But I had a feeling that a second viewing would be where a movie like this can be properly tested – once you have all the details at your disposal, you can be the “detective” and see whether the movie holds up, or whether some scenes and details don’t make sense.
And upon my re-watch, I am happy to report that Knives Out only gets better. The film moves well (it’s over 2 hours long, but you never feel it, it just flies by you) it’s genuinely funny, packed with a stellar cast and the great, original story is just a cherry on top of a delicious… in this case it wouldn’t be a cake, but doughnut. But there is a hole inside of that doughnut. 😉 What makes this movie truly great is the fact it’s half an homage to this “whodunit” genre, half almost a parody of it. But not a mean, spiteful parody, it’s parody done with heart and by somebody, who you can tell loves (and knows!) this genre really well.
Let’s talk about the cast for a bit, as a big part of this movie’s appeal is not necessarily the fact most of the actors are proper stars, but the fact they all act against their “stereotypes”. Daniel Craig is playing not so serious, yet brilliant detective with southern accent and you can tell he’s enjoying every second of it. Chris Evans is playing proper douche (complete opposite of Captain America) whose “Eat shit” scene always makes me laugh and Ana de Armas, who’s usually typecast as “the hot girl” in plenty of other movies, is portrayed here as nurse known for her brain/work ethic rather than her looks. These three actors stand out the most out of the entire cast as those were the most surprising “against the type” choices for their respective roles, and that’s a part of what makes this movie great – they all needed to go outside of their comfort zone and try something “new” and it worked. And mainly with Ana, I was slightly disappointed to see her not be at least nominated for the last year’s (or technically this year’s) Oscars, because as much as this movie is an ensemble piece, she carries a lot of it and if her character wouldn’t work, the movie would just fell apart.
It’s already been announced there will be a sequel, and I honestly hope it won’t be a traditional sequel. Rather than, what I could imagine and would be up for, is Daniel Craig’s character solving a new case, someplace else. Just him, as Benoit Blanc with his crazy, over the top southern accent, in a new detective story about something completely unrelated to this film and I’d be on board, 100%. It will be interesting to see where Rian Johnson will go with this and whether we might have something more here. I will be on a lookout and need to admit, I need to checkout more of Rian’s filmography. So far, he hasn’t disappointed me, as Knives Out is definitely one of the best movies of 2019.
That’s all for this one! Did you see it? What did you think about it? Let me know!
Until next time,