Movie Night – See How They Run (2022)

“It’s a murder mystery. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all.”

The Mousetrap is celebrating its 100th performance with a party at the theatre, but all is not well behind the scenes. Contracts have been signed for a film version of the play, but the director has a very different vision to the screenwriter about how to adapt it. And there’s the small issue of the condition that the film cannot be shown until the play has been off stage for six months…

After a brutal murder disrupts the proceedings, it falls to the inexperienced Constable Stalker and the experienced, if a little worse-for-wear, Inspector Stoppard to track down the murderer – the rest of Scotland Yard are busy with the Rillington Place murders. But, as ever, it seems that everyone had a motive for murder…

Film time, and after Knives Out last year, we have another out-and-out whodunit film for everyone to enjoy. You could count Scream (5) as well, but not everyone enjoys scary movies. Like Knives Out, it has its tongue in its cheek while never letting the core story become an out and out comedy.

It’s also a love letter to Agatha Christie – I think. I imagine the most ardent Christie-aholics might take umbrage with the final act of the film, but I think it’s done with real affection. The performances are top notch, especially Saoirse Ronan as Constable Stalker who – like a few of the characters to be honest – could have devolved into caricature in the hands of a lesser actor, but she forms the heart of the movie. There’s a nice trick at the heart of it in the sense that with two investigators, neither of which seems to be a top-notch investigator or seem at times to be on the same page, it adds the question of who exactly is going to track the murderer down.

By the way, if you haven’t seen The Mousetrap, this does a great job of tip-toeing around the plot. One aspect is revealed, but a quick Google tells me that bit is very early in the play, not revealed at the end. This isn’t like the time I saw Paul Merton live and he revealed who did it as a joke…

There is some fun playing about with the format – the screenwriter argues about the laziness of using a flashback while in a flashback – but at no point did the pace of the film flag. Yes, it’s not as complex a mystery as Knives Out, but there also isn’t an obvious clue in the middle of it that absolutely signposts the killer like there is in Rian Johnson’s film. OK, that’s just me, but I spotted it in Knives Out and if there was one here, I didn’t notice it.

Overall, this is another great movie mystery – really entertaining, really funny in places and it knows when to take itself seriously too. Oh, and a great red herring that had me going for a bit…

15 comments

  1. I’m glad you reviewed this, as it gives me a new perspective. I found it very disorganised and middling, to be honest, and the allusions to SPOILER? pretty bad taste given that the film does nothing with them. Of course, that was in the play as well, but somehow it felt less flippant in The Mousetrap. I also found there to be an absence of decent clueing as well as just a general lack of suspense or reason to care. But I may give it another shot at some point based on your review.

    Like

  2. Saw it this afternoon at a cinema that is about 150 yards from the Ambassadors Thratre and had a very good time. I would argue it is more arch and more knowing than KNIVES OUT and so feels closer to a spoof. But I liked them both and as you say, done very affectionately. I was quite surprised how many real people were represented in the film given how naughty they are about them but I laughed a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Presumably Inspector Stoppard is so named as a reference to Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound, which is obviously inspired by The Mousetrap.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.