Death on The Nile has an appealing premise and an A-list cast, but the plot lacks at times and it almost seemed like a repeat of another of director Kenneth Branagh’s recent films, Murder on the Orient Express (2017).
Branagh is not just the director
of Death on The Nile, he also stars as Detective Hercule Poirot, who is vacationing on a Nile River steamer when a young heiress is murdered. There are many possible culprits, and Poirot is tasked with putting the pieces together. Along on the cruise is Poirot’s friend Bouc, played by Tom Bateman, and Bouc’s mother, Euphemia Bouc, played by Annette Bening. Also along is Windlesham, played by Russell Brand, and husband and wife Simon Doyle and Gal Gadot, played by Armie Hammer and Gal Gadot.
I found the performances of Branagh, Hammer, and Gadot to be where the best chemistry is in Death on The Nile. But the film just seemed out of focus at times. It was also, again, a little too similar to Murder on the Orient Express. And despite the who-done-it theme, it was too predictable for my tastes. I did enjoy some of the outstanding cinematography and scenery, however. In my teen years I traveled to Egypt and I have many good memories of seeing the pyramids and other attractions along the Nile.
To be honest, Death on The Nile is not terrible, but it could have been so much better considering the cast. Branagh still has a brilliant mind for directing and acting, and his performance as Detective Poirot is solid. But given its problems, I’m giving Death on The Nile just two and a half stars.