Review: Knives Out an enormous ingenious giggle

There is a very good chance that Rian Johnson's ridiculously entertaining Knives Out could well be the most fun I've had in a cinema all year.

There, I said it.

The cast, their script, the wild and wonderful twists and turns of this finely tuned and expertly executed plot, it's just all such an enormous ingenious unguessable giggle and I simply cannot wait to watch it again - despite already knowing the ending!

Set almost entirely on the estate of wealthy and very recently deceased crime author and patriarch Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), Knives Out riffs on the classic Agatha Christie murder/mystery genre but drags it kicking and screaming into 2019 movie theatres by way of a truly magical casting mashup and the marvelously acerbic and keenly relevant and irreverent social commentary.

The Thrombey dynasty on first introductions seem a plausibly amiable bunch reeling from the very sudden passing of their father/grandfather. Trumping all their grief however is Marta (Ana de Armas), Harlan Thrombey's loyal nurse.

Marta knows far more of the family's secrets and lies than they could ever imagine, but is she guarding a secret bigger than all of them? The one man who may have the skills and intuition to unravel it all is Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig).

The mysterious and very famous investigator turns up on the doorstep, paid by who knows who to find out who did what and why to Harlan Thrombey.

It's here I must resort to wild and sweeping generalisations and perhaps even the odd red herring, so determined am I to avoid even the slightest and most delicate of hints to the narrative.

It's imperative you enjoy this film knowing nothing more than the barest of facts and fiction. You'll get to know the Thrombey family well enough yourself, from the successful businesswoman Linda (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her suave husband Richard (Don Johnson) to the scene-stealing Joni (Toni Collette) and the requisite black sheep Ransom (Chris Evans). And let's not forget Walt (Michael Shannon), the simpering toxic heir apparent running his father's publishing business.

As the cracks in the antique veneer of this privileged festering filial face-off start to appear, the plot really ramps up along with your heart rate. One minute you're convinced you and Benoit Blanc have got it all sussed, the next you're both none the wiser and straight back to square one.

The brilliant thing about this gem of a whodunnit is how pleasing the reach of this crowd pleaser is. This is not your average ABC Murder She Wrote on the Orient Express kind of rehash, the audience for this is an all-ages, all strokes and folks kind of affair, honouring the classics by simply becoming one itself. 

Do yourself a favour, go and see Knives Out. I promise you will not regret it.

Five stars.

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