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Knives Out - Rian Johnson whodunnit

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Just watched this and enjoyed it a lot.  It went in a different way to what I expected from a typical whodunnit, which I thought was kind of refreshing(spoiler below is more about the general structure rather than plot points, but still read at your own risk obvs)

 

I thought it was interesting for them to tell you (or seem to) early on what had happened in a way that seemed like they couldnt write their way out of happening, and then spend a decent portion focusing on how everyone was reacting, to the point where I thought that was the film - would that character get away with it and would the family eat itself in the process of trying to deal with what happened?  Of course, there was a twist in the tale still

 

Aside from that the acting was good, the plot cracked along at a decent pace.  I liked the opening portion where they laid out quite clearly everything you needed to know, which of course all turned out important later.  And overall I thought it was a well thought out story (now comes the plot point spoilers)

 

Spoiler

I really did start to think that they’d pulled a bit of a bait and switch with the film, with Marta being revealed as accidentally killing him early on.  She didn’t seem like she would be used as an unreliable narrator, and what happened was so airtight with the rest of the story it seemed like that was that.  It would be more would she get away with it and how would the family react rather than the whodunnit it was advertised as, which lasted all of the first 20 mins.  So when the reveal of Ransom was done, and then thoroughly explained, I was kind of impressed by how well plotted it seemed.  Normally in these things there’s at least one thing that doesn’t make sense or they do something that feels convenient more than natural, but I couldn’t spot one here.  I’m sure saying that, someone will now.  Plus they didn’t do the cliche of making one of the least obvious characters somehow the killer, Ransom was always portrayed as an arsehole.

 

In short, I thought it was snappy, smartly written and had a satisfying ending.  Go see it if you get chance.

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I've just started an online petition demanding that Knives Out be removed from murder mystery canon.

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1 hour ago, K said:

I've just started an online petition demanding that Knives Out be removed from murder mystery canon.

Can you do one demanding a cut with all the female characters removed? 

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I'm just back from it too. Enjoyed it and it's not a genre I can say I've seen a lot of, not that I've got anything against it.

 

Spoiler

I figured there had to be more to the Marta doing it angle. That she herself was set up. But I was thinking along the lines of it being Harlan himself doing it for a reason I couldn't figure out. That he had hired Blanc himself before he died, knowing that he would eventually figure it all out. Of course that turned out to be wrong. And it was satisfying that the plan went awry due to Marta simply being a good person wanting to do the right thing in the end. 

 

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I really enjoyed this a lot. The cast and performances are fantastic, and it's one of those films where I could happily have sat and watched another hour of it, revelling in its unravelling. I didn't want it to end!

 

Satisfying. Go see it! :)

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I saw it and liked it... but one bit didn't make any sense to me at all (major spoiler!):

 

Spoiler

After Chris Evans (can't remember his name) and Marta(?) visit the morgue and find it burned down, he then suggests to look at her email. She finds the message and then has the car chase bit which ends resulting in Chris Evans getting arrested. She then starts trailing the other cops who are transporting Evans with Blanc riding along in her car. She then makes up the excuse which ends up with her finding the woman in the laundrettes who seemingly has only just been injected with Morphine.

 

If you remember it takes 10 minutes of Morphine overdose to kill so how in the hell would that work? Chris Evans was with her all along until getting arrested. When he was supposed to be injecting that lady he would have been in the back of the cop car as it would have had to have happened 5 minutes prior?! 

 

Please tell me I'm missing something? Was there another scene after the credits which explains that glaring plot hole? 

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2 hours ago, tronied said:

I saw it and liked it... but one bit didn't make any sense to me at all (major spoiler!):

 

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After Chris Evans (can't remember his name) and Marta(?) visit the morgue and find it burned down, he then suggests to look at her email. She finds the message and then has the car chase bit which ends resulting in Chris Evans getting arrested. She then starts trailing the other cops who are transporting Evans with Blanc riding along in her car. She then makes up the excuse which ends up with her finding the woman in the laundrettes who seemingly has only just been injected with Morphine.

 

If you remember it takes 10 minutes of Morphine overdose to kill so how in the hell would that work? Chris Evans was with her all along until getting arrested. When he was supposed to be injecting that lady he would have been in the back of the cop car as it would have had to have happened 5 minutes prior?! 

 

Please tell me I'm missing something? Was there another scene after the credits which explains that glaring plot hole? 

 

Spoiler

I just assumed the time period was longer than the 10min rule established earlier for a middle aged woman, as opposed to an 85yr old dude,  and/or the dosage was smaller

 

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This was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. 
 

A delicious homage to the murder mystery genre - a Poirot-esque detective in Benoit Blanc; a setting straight out of And Then There Were None; a rouges gallery of Cluedo characters, all played in the highest of high camp by a terrific ensemble cast; Johnson is winking at the audience throughout, really relishing in the knowing tropes of the genre - hell, we even see Murder, She Wrote on TV in the background at one point. This is a love letter in movie form to Agatha Christie. 
 

Since it’s a whodunnit though, none of that spoils what is a terrific central mystery. From the start, as the motives are established, one can almost hear the sound of the gears clicking as the trap is set and watching it spring into action, watching all the little clues slot into place, is intensely satisfying  I started grinning and didn’t stop until the credits rolled. 
 

Some of the plot devices are ridiculous, the contrivances unbelievable, but this is a movie having so much fun which is so camp that all such concerns are dismissed with each successive joke. The final reveal and payoff is totally earned, delivered with real gusto by Daniel Craig. I now really want to watch The Ongoing Adventures of Benoit Blanc - someone please make this!

 

Last thought - the counter-casting of Captain America as a complete cretin is a stroke of genius, brilliant fun to watch!

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@tronied

 

major spoiler, obviously.

 

Spoiler

Levels of overdose? Marta knew precisely how much she’d given and the consequences. I suspect in the second case the killer didn’t have a Clue.

 

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This was absolutely brilliant and I could gush and gush about it. Totally captivating from the start and felt like a future classic.

 

Hoooooowever... if I could nitpick one thing: Was anybody shocked by the whodunnit reveal?

 

Because

 

 

As soon as they established the dogs barked at 3am, and the granny said "back again Ransom?" and they then establish the dogs bark at Ransom when he shows up for the will reading... it was obvious. Didn't detract from the film but it could've done with an extra layer of reveals after that, the family were largely uninvolved after the first act.

 

I hope we see more of Blanc in future.

 

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On 23/11/2019 at 08:31, JPL said:

How many expectations were subverted?

 

 

The film does something very risky early on which confounds expectations but is used to deliver a continuous serving of pitch perfect intrigue, tension and comedy. Personally I felt the subsequent climax didn't deliver in quite the same way, I'd say it was largely expected, but satisfying to watch it play out none-the-less.

 

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7 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Hoooooowever... if I could nitpick one thing: Was anybody shocked by the whodunnit reveal?


With the benefit of hindsight yes, the clues were there to work it out, now you mention it. It all washed over me to a certain extent and I just enjoyed the ride, but now you mention it I guess the construction of the mystery is even more satisfying that I realised - it’s all there for you to deduce yourself, you don’t have to rely on Blanc. 
 

Im grinning like a loon again just thinking about this. :D

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50 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

 

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The film does something very risky early on which confounds expectations but is used to deliver a continuous serving of pitch perfect intrigue, tension and comedy. Personally I felt the subsequent climax didn't deliver in quite the same way, I'd say it was largely expected, but satisfying to watch it play out none-the-less.

 

It’s really good to hear it’s a decent film. I’ve always struggled with his output, but it’s easy to see he’s a very talented director.

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Enjoyed this a lot, but can’t work out

why Harlan thought cutting his throat would protect Marta. If he thought he was about to die from a morphine overdose, he must have known this would show up in any autopsy. Since Marta was responsible for giving him his drugs, she’d be number one suspect.

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13 minutes ago, drob4 said:

Enjoyed this a lot, but can’t work out

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why Harlan thought cutting his throat would protect Marta. If he thought he was about to die from a morphine overdose, he must have known this would show up in any autopsy. Since Marta was responsible for giving him his drugs, she’d be number one suspect.

 

 

Spoiler

He made it an obvious suicide so no other investigations would take place. It's only R interference that prevents this from happening.

 

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@footle @Glasgowchivas

Spoiler

I'd like to believe that, but in the film it shows him filling a syringe and injecting. Regardless of whether she was a younger person, I doubt the time to die from Morphine OD between an 85 year old and someone who is 45-50(?) would have been that substantially different. Also, it must have been a significant amount as she did end up dying from it. Most importantly though, if it relates to an important plot point (which this does), it would have been mentioned specifically in the Denouement, but it was just skipped over without further explanation.

 

Still, at the end of the day it was an enjoyable film and best not to overthink things.

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Just got back from this and loved it. I'm a huge fan of Clue and Murder By Death and this is a worthy addition to that canon.

 

Spoiler thoughts...

Spoiler

About halfway through, I wondered if Marta had deliberately faked giving Harlen the morphine, so he would concoct a plan to save her. There's a point where she has just left the study and she sits on the stairs. I could swear she almost smiles.

 

I thought the point of being better at Go than Ransom was that she was able to think more strategically than him.

 

I loved Benny Blanco and his amazing accent. The film had me giggling throughout. Fantastic fun.

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3 hours ago, Gord said:

 

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He made it an obvious suicide so no other investigations would take place. It's only R interference that prevents this from happening.

 

Ah, I just assumed toxicology reports would be carried out as standard as part of any autopsy.

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9 hours ago, Commander Jameson said:

 

Spoiler thoughts...

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 thought the point of being better at Go than Ransom was that she was able to think more strategically than him.

 

Spoiler

But she did outwit him in the end.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Commander Jameson said:

Just got back from this and loved it. I'm a huge fan of Clue and Murder By Death and this is a worthy addition to that canon.

 

Spoiler thoughts...

 

 

Regarding your theory...

 

I agree I thought there might be an extra twist with Marta and possibly another member of the family on top of the Ransom twist, and I think the idea Marta is tricking everyone all along would've been even more satisfying given some of the more preposterous moments. But yeah, still highly enjoyable.

 

Never seen Murder by Death - worth a look?

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3 minutes ago, grindmouse said:

Never seen Murder by Death - worth a look?

 

Yes. It's more spoof of classic detective/mystery tropes than a straightforward whodunit, but very funny.

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