‘Death on the Nile’: Fun but forgettable

Kenneth Branagh returns as Detective Hercule Poirot in his newest film.



Armie Hammer and Gal Gadot in “Death on the Nile” (2022).

Joseph Giddings, Staff Writer

Kenneth Branagh’s newest film adaptation of Agatha Christie’s mystery novel,Death on the Nile”, takes you on a fun and thrilling ride, whilst failing to leave you with any memory of it.

The film takes place following the previous adaptation within the Poirot series, “Murder on the Orient Express”, as our returning protagonist, Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) investigates once again another murder mystery, met with reveals and surprises around every corner.

But much like its predecessor, “Death on the Nile” receives much of the same treatment.

Despite its all-star cast of well-known Hollywood actors such as Gal Gadot, Armie Hammer, Letitia Wright and Russel Brand, the characters and storyline fail to leave an impression upon you, contributing to the film’s overall lack of satisfaction.

Within any given scene, the number of characters involved within the story can at times feel overwhelming, leaving you questioning their relationships, backstories, purpose and even to some extent their names, ultimately feeling severely underdeveloped in their creation and overall presence.

As a love-focused storyline and plot, the film’s message is unsuccessful at providing the necessary investment and care towards the characters, as well their own hopes and desires, leading to a conclusion that lacks both originality and intrigue.

Despite its flaws, the film’s biggest strength lends itself to its setting, a party-filled cruise along the Nile River.

Vibrant colors and grand scenery amplify the film’s cinematography, presenting you with the beauty of Egypt’s lively and desolate landscape during the post-World War 1 era. With parties that could only be rivaled by the likes of “The Great Gatsby”, the film immerses you within its atmosphere, through fast paced scenes accompanied by energetic music, flashy dance numbers and enough champagne to fill the Nile itself. Making you feel as though you are the party’s undetected guest, loving every minute of it.

While the performances of the film’s side characters are lacking at times, Kenneth Branagh carries the film in each scene that he is in. With his quick and witty personality, Branagh leads you along his investigation of the murder, making you suspect the guilty as much as the innocent, causing you to question how the film will conclude in the end.  

After nearly a three-year long delay, fans of the first film, as well as the book, may find some enjoyment out of Branagh’s latest production as well as the average movie-goer wishing to spend time with their friends on a Friday night. But for those contemplating seeing the film in theaters, you might be better off waiting for its digital release or simply watching another murder-mystery all together.