Review Date: 9/17/22
Cast: Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, Harris Dickinson
A sort of "art imitating life imitating art imitating life" film that uses Agatha Christie's play "The Mousetrap" as a setting for murder. In 1953, during the celebration of "The Mousetrap's" 100th performance, an obnoxious American filmmaker (Adrien Brody) is murdered and left on display in the theater. World-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and an enthusiastic young constable (effervescent Saoirse Ronan) are assigned to the case and interview all of the potential suspects, which uncovers a tangled web of secrets and lies.
The film is predictable, formulaic, and cliché to a fault, but I found comfort in that and it still managed to successfully misdirect me. Agatha Christie fans and purists may find the film objectionable, but not having any preconceptions or biases, I found it to be quite charming and enjoyable. The film is beautifully shot and looks fantastic, and also pokes fun of itself and the whodunnit genre in general. Despite the grim setting, the direction is light and breezy, and everyone appears to be having a great amount of fun. Sam Rockwell gives a wonderful performance as the broken, but brilliant detective, and Saoirse Ronan steals the show as the energetic and inexperienced Constable Stalker. She's absolutely amazing and immensely charming, and her presence crackles with intense warmth and boundless energy. Admittedly, she was the reason why I saw the film, although many of her best bits are given away in the trailer.
Unfortunately, the film goes a bit off the rails in the final act as all of the pieces finally come together, and the breaking of the fourth wall in the epilogue spoils the fun and tries to be a little too clever for its own good. But apart from that, I found the film to be a delightfully lighthearted diversion after a long and frustrating day at work.