Many people believe writer/director Rian Johnson ruined Star Wars with his subversive take on the franchise with The Last Jedi. Now, it would seem, he’s trying to ruin “whodunits” for all mystery fans out there. Johnson’s latest film, Knives Out, is a take on the old-school Agatha Christie closed door murders where a large group of suspects are forced to stay in a single house together, along with a killer, reminiscent of stories such as And Then There Were None and Ordeal By Innocence.
The film boasts an impressive star-studded ensemble cast. Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette, Don Johnson, and Christopher Plummer are all headlining this film. Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) is also listed in the cast, and you of course have Daniel Craig as the film’s central sleuth (doing a terrible southern accent, by the way). Here’s the film’s official synopsis from Lionsgate:
Acclaimed writer and director Rian Johnson (Brick, Looper, The Last Jedi) pays tribute to mystery mastermind Agatha Christie in KNIVES OUT, a fun, modern-day murder mystery where everyone is a suspect. When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. From Harlan’s dysfunctional family to his devoted staff, Blanc sifts through a web of red herrings and self-serving lies to uncover the truth behind Harlan’s untimely death. With an all-star ensemble cast including Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield, Katherine Langford and Jaeden Martell, KNIVES OUT is a witty and stylish whodunit guaranteed to keep audiences guessing until the very end.
I’m gonna go on record here as saying the twist is: THEY ALL DID IT! (just like in Murder On The Orient Express, because we all know Rian Johnson can’t come up with good plot twists on his own.)
I’m also going to go on record as saying the twist is: THERE IS NO KILLER! EVERYONE ACTUALLY DIES OF NATURAL CAUSES! (because we all know Rian Johnson likes to subvert expectations.)
What’s the over-under on Johnson trolling fans online by saying “Your Knives Out Theory Sucks”? I guess that’s dependent on how much interest there actually is in this film, which doesn’t appear to be a whole lot at the moment. The film has already made back its modest budget in foreign pre-sales, so the movie will be profitable no matter what. The real question is, will it be “good”?
Judging solely from the trailer, I’d venture to say the answer to that question is: No. Yes, in typical Johnson fashion, the film looks great and certainly evokes that aristocratic Christie murder-mystery setting and style. But the dialogue in the trailer is… well… terrible. Especially Craig’s accent. None of the “jokes” or “witty banter” in this trailer stick to the landing, with all of them coming off as cringy, at best. And tonally, this trailer is all over the place. Is Knives Out meant to be a twisty thriller? A cozy mystery? A post-modern comedy? Much like The Last Jedi, it would seem Knives Out doesn’t know how to be true to what it is supposed to be.
Regardless, the film is set to be released over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend in 2019, a few weeks before The Rise Of Skywalker. The film will undoubtedly make money at the box office, but I’m wondering if the fan backlash from The Last Jedi will affect it at all. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!