A murder mystery with theatrical flair See How They Run provides plenty of who did it fun.
In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered.
When world-weary Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theatre underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
The usual suspects haughtily assemble, glam impresario Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson), dandyish playwright Mervyn (David Oyelowo) and the actual producer who fatefully signed on that dotted line, John Woolf (a furtive Reece Shearsmith).
Adrien Brody, raising toasts in his Wes Anderson glad rags, is one Leo Köpernick, the American movie director Woolf wants to hire, who thinks the play’s a relic and sets about raising hell.
See How They Run makes note of author Agatha Christie’s proviso that no film of the play be produced while the play was still running, and that she based it on a real-life murder.
Christie clearly knew what she was doing as The Mouse Trap is still running today.
British TV director Tom George (This Country) tries a few tricks to give his picture a prancing pace, split screens to catch reaction shots and chop up a “door slamming” farce sequence.
That doesn’t really do the trick.
The production design is TV-period piece immaculate, lush sound-staged bars and sitting rooms, vintage cars and posh suits and dresses.
Rockwell and Ronan deliver comically contrasting characters with the jaded and tipsy vs. eager and naïve, they bounce off each other well.
Ronan gets all the good jokes and Rockwell is kind of the straight man.
Adrien Brody is terrific as Leo in flashbacks, and he also narrates parts of the movie.
I don’t think this movie will be to everyone’s tastes it is a little goofy and very tongue in cheek.
My Rating: 7/10