Knives Out

Knives Out

By Joanna Langfield

Who knew murder could be this much fun?

Rian Johnson’s savvy, laugh out loud funny send up/homage to the whodunit is one of the happiest and smartest treats of the year.

The bloody and ruthless action centers on the death of Harlan Thrombrey, a hugely successful mystery writer. After a cozy birthday party with his family, the purse string wielding patriarch is discovered with his throat slashed. Who, among his loving scions and beloved nurse could possibly have done such a dastardly deed? The local police are kind of wondering. But it’s Detective Benoit Blanc, curiously brought onto the case, who just knows there’s something very wrong in the remote mansion.

And we’re off. Every family member, ranging from a crusty Jamie Lee Curtis to a lithe Toni Collette, the slimy Don Johnson to a slicker-than-thou Chris Evans, well, they all have their reasons why they could have dunnit. Or was it the chummy caretaker, played with aplomb by Ana De Armas? Johnson keeps the all the balls moving, bouncing from wry drama to moments that are breathtakingly hilarious, taking on social subjects of the day with a bracing, ohnohedidn’t joy.

So, it’s fun, funny and even topical. And oh those performances! Every star has at least one, if not one dozen moments to do their thing and Johnson clearly loves watching them do it, individually and as an ensemble. Yet, there is a standout and no one can miss it. It’s Daniel Craig. Yes, James Bond is fall out of your seat hilarious as the N’Orleans gumshoe, a white suited dandy who talks, or should I say drawls, his way into finding out what’s what around here. If you missed Craig in Logan Lucky (which you shouldn’t), you may not realize how adventurous his comedy is. No worries: you’ll find out here, in spades.

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