Director Rian Johnson is reportedly a huge fan of Peter Ustinov's 1980's cinematic Poirot, and so it seemed unsurprising that he would pay homage to the genre by creating his very own movie whodunnit in the shape of the entertaining and rather good quality Knives Out
Knives Out has the crime novelist patriarch (Christopher Plummer) apparently committing suicide on the night of his 85th birthday. All of the guests at his birthday party have good reasons for wishing the old guy dead, and his visiting and reassuringly dysfunctional family are all played by a delicious selection of Hollywood elite ,
We have Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis ( on fantastic scene stealing form) and Michael Shannon playing Plummer's high achieving children whilst Chris Evans and Toni Collette support as evil grandson and dippy daughter in law respectively.
Only the family nurse (Ana de Armas) seems innocent, a "fact" which is overturned as the plot takes on a twist after twist when a famous detective Benoit Blanc ( Daniel Craig) mysteriously turns up in the big dark family house to interview the suspects.
Like I said it's an entertaining romp which zigzags nicely between laughs and tension, and the final " arhh haa!" moment is clever enough for most of the audience to enjoy with gusto even though I was slightly let down by who eventually did it!
Unfortunately Craig is no Peter Ustinov - he simply cannot command respect and interest in the main role and his miscasting as the detective ( and almost bloated continual close ups ) almost ruins the film.
Thank goodness for Jamie Lee Curtis . I won't be at all surprised if she doesn't win an oscar for best supporting actress as her few scenes as the straight talking bitter business woman daughter are a delight to watch.