By David Lee Zamora
Special to the Parade
Knives Out is a fun, exciting murder mystery that manages to feel like a wacky Wes Anderson film.
The film is about an investigation into the apparent suicide of Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer), a wealthy author with a large, spoiled family. Someone in the family hired a famous special investigator, named Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig), to find if Harlan’s death was actually a suicide. With the help of Harlan’s long time nurse and friend, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), they must investigate every crazy twist and turn this case throws at them.
As with most films I watch these days, I didn’t expect much from this film. I knew it was a murder mystery, which isn’t my favorite genre of film, and I knew it was going to be two hours long, so I really had no intrest in this film.
Fortunately, I was completely wrong. This is now one of my favorite films. Its mix of mystery and comedy blend so well, and none of it feels forced or unnatural in the slightest.
To explain what I mean, a good example of forced comedy in a film is Deadpool films. Yes they’re funny, but that’s because of their shotgun approach, where they throw a lot of jokes at you until one hits and is funny.
Knives Out, on the other hand, has jokes all throughout the film, but they all feel thought out and organic.
I love the acting and writing in this film. Every person in the film is an odd character, with there own strange quarks. For example, Ana’s inability to lie without vomiting; Benoit’s weird southern lawyer accent; and Harlan’s somewhat catatonic mother, Wanetta (K Callan).
Almost all of the characters are written excellently having their own personalities, ranging from cruel and hateful, to idiotic and freeloving, but the best part is that they’re all still funny in their own way, due to their little quips and sly remarks here and there. Almost all of the characters are memorable, which is something not many films have lately, showing how much thought went into this film.
The best of Knives Out is the mystery and how everything fits together in the end. I mean, yeah, it’s supposed to make sense at the end, but if you pay attention, you could pick up on the clues and predict most of what happened the night of Halan’s death. I know this because I was able to, and so were some of the other people watching the film in the theater. I know that because they never even tried to whisper to each other asking who did what and how.
Even with its funny and thrilling scenes, Knives Out does have its small flaws. For example, some of the characters fade into the background until needed but still have a lot of attention drawn to them.
For example, Harlan’s grandson Jacob Thrombey (Jaeden Lieberher), who is repeatedly called a Nazi and made to look like a key character, but inst’. He overhears a conversation and tells everyone what he heard.
Knives Out is truly one of my new favorite films. It got my attention right away and left a smile on my face, because of its great fun and satisfying tension.