For those keeping track, 'Death on the Nile' is the sequel to 2017's 'Murder on the Orient Express'. This is an updated version of Agatha Christie's book, and it certainly looks as though we've got a pretty solid series in the making here. It's a remake of an old story, yes, but I daresay that a good murder mystery goes a long way these days (with True Crime being so incredibly popular). And why not bring back some classic material for today's generation? Poirot, no doubt, can show 'em how it's done.
The film opens with a bit of great detective Hercule Poirot's (Kenneth Branagh) history, in which we discover why he's got such an awesome mustache. It doesn't feel like it makes a whole lot of sense, but we also get a chance to see his innovation in the trenches and meet his lost love, Katherine (Susannah Fielding), which is admittedly interesting. Fast-forward to 1937, where the real story takes place, we catch up with the now mustachioed Poirot at a nightclub in London. There, Salome Otterbourne (Sophie Okonedo) performs while, very quickly, heiress Linnet Ridgeway (Gal Gadot) steals the handsome Simon Doyle (Armie Hammer) away from socialite Jacqueline "Jackie" de Bellefort (Emma Mackey).
Now that we have a good set-up, we eventually get to them all (somewhat coincidentally) on a cruise along the Nile River, six weeks later. Linnet and Simon are there on a honeymoon but appear to have been followed by a jealous Jackie. And while the main case seems incredibly plain, there's a boat full of all sorts of colourful characters who could be behind one particular murder. As one would imagine, it's all a big puzzle to solve, probably doesn't quite turn out as expected in the end, and the real charm of the movie is behind Poirot's character as opposed to the murder mystery aspect.
Now, truth be told, I'm terrible with murder mysteries like this, and tend to confuse fairly easily. I'm the kind of guy who blinks once and misses the entire plot to something like this, but I'm also not unable to find entertainment value in it. As mentioned before, I do find Poirot to be a rather charming character, the film has a mild sense of humour, but it's not altogether silly, and the cast of colourful characters is pretty solid. Among just some of the names included are Annette Bening, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French (who may be a little more obvious to us fans of British Humour), Russell Brand, Rose Leslie, and that's just naming a few.
I think it's safe to say that this will certainly be up other peoples' alleys more so than my own. But I say that very lightly because I was still entertained by this. There's really nothing I would point out as specifically bad about it, and I probably wouldn't mind checking it out again, it only to get a little more out of the story. I'll just say that if you're a fan of the classic murder mystery, this is well worth a watch - especially if you happened to be a fan of 'Murder on the Orient Express'. Poirot may not be any Sherlock Holmes, but I do have to admit that he's up there as one of the all-time great fictional detectives.