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Knives Out

Knives Out: Is it a Strong Return to the Crime-Mystery Genre?‎

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Yasmeen Mamdouh
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Knives Out: Is it a Strong Return to the Crime-Mystery Genre?‎

Featured image via by Claire Folger/Claire Folger – © 2018 MRC II Distribution Company L.P. All rights reserved.


Film genres, like almost everything ever, are trends. We’ve noticed that the crime-mysteries seem to have fallen out of fashion over the past few years; can Knives Out be the strong return of the long-forgotten genre?

Knives Out follows Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), who is hired to investigate the death of renowned novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), which occurred on the night of his 85th birthday party.  With suspicion of the death not being the suicide that it looks like, Blanc has his work cut out for him to discover the sinister truth, especially with the intertwined weave of family problems and their constant lies that offer various motives for murder.

The feature is of a challenging genre to create, for the film has to be both entertaining and plausible. Knives Out is more than adequate when it comes to living up to the style; the plot is complex, with endless little details changing the line of thought, multiple suspects, and a charismatic detective to take us through the investigation. The feature also sports wry humour, providing the audiences with an extra dose of entertainment.



On the other hand, the slow-paced twists and turns stretched out the feature to over 130 minutes, leaving the audiences hungry for a revelation that finally comes in the third act. While it was meant to raise the excitement, the long-awaited reveals were not impactful.

The cast of the film is large and gathers a host of big names, which is great for ticket sales. But the problem with the stellar cast of Knives Out is that many of the actors are underutilised as their characters have, mostly, brief roles.

For the acting; despite his character’s ridiculously annoying southern accent, Daniel Craig – looking like he’s enjoying playing the character – was believable as Detective Blanc. Christopher Plummer’s role was not the biggest, but as usual, his acting chops are unquestionable, even in the smallest of parts. Playing Harlan’s caregiver Marta, Ana de Armas was believable as the innocent kindhearted nurse, even though the character was one dimensional and unrealistic. Playing Harlan’s daughter Linda, Jamie Lee Curtis was underused, as she grabbed the audience with her charisma in the few scenes she had. Chris Evans gives a plausible performance as Harlan’s spoiled grandson. The cast also included Toni Colette, Michael Shannon, and Don Johnson, among others who played members of the Thrombey family.

Knives Out is worth the watch, especially if you are a crime-mystery fan, and even if the feature is flawed when it comes to pace and twists.

Like This? Try

Sherlock Holmes (2009), and Murder on the Orient Express (2017).

360 Tip

Despite playing his mother in the film, K Callan is actually over 6 years younger than Christopher Plummer.

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