See How They Run Review
Light, Funny And Thrilling Old-fashioned Whodunit
By Liselotte Vanophem
From celebrated writer Arthur Conan Doyle to director Rian Johnson and filmmaker Jonathan Lynn to the legend Agatha Christie, they all love a good old-fashioned whodunit and honestly, we do too. Whether it’s a literary work, an electrifying film or a stunning series, they all have you guessing who the killers is. One mystery that we have been solving for 70 years is the one in The Mousetrap. The Christie play isn’t only the longest-running play on the West End but is also the perfect inspiration for “See How They Run”, the debut movie from Tom George.
The film takes you back to the 1950s and gives you a classical whodunit within a whodunit, hilarious performances and a “The Grand Budapest Hotel”-style cinematography. If you’re worried about potential spoilers regarding The Mousetrap, no worries, this review and “See How They Run” are spoiler-free.
From the beginning, everyone knew that The Mousetrap would be a massive success for many years. While celebrating its 100th performance, plans are being made for a film version. However, that project is postponed when director Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody) is found murdered.
The two detectives who will try to solve this murder are the more experienced but unhinged Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and the hyper-observant rookie-like Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan). After encountering the many suspects (who soon become potential victims) such as the well-known film producer John Woolf (Reece Shearsmith), actor Richard Attenborough (Harris Dickinson), stage manager/wannabe actress Petula Spencer (Ruth Wilson), and scriptwriter Mervyn Cocker-Norris (David Oyelowo), Stoppard and Stalker are soon confronted with the typical murder mystery full of twists, turns and even more potential killers. Will the duo be able to catch the murderer before he/she strikes again?
To create a clever, captivating and surprising whodunit, you must have a top-notch writer. Luckily for director George, he got exactly that in the form of Mark Chappell (“The Rack Pack”, “Perfect Day: The Millennium”). While many aspects are inspired by Christie’s work, “See How They Run” is an entirely fictional, original and stunning script.
The writing is quick-witted, exceptionally clever, and gives the film the necessary suspense. Whether it’s the characters taking digs at each other, the uplifting, fast-paced and hilarious conversations between Stalker and Stoppard or the more serious interrogations, you will have a smile all over your face for the whole 98 minutes.
Even the fact that the characters are highly stereotypical and exaggerated enhances the joyfulness of this movie. The caricatures would have been a big problem in many other movies, but not in “See How They Run”.
This is mainly also because of the terrific A-list ensemble, led by the impeccable Rockwell and Ronan. The duo steals the shows with perfect comic timing and extremely funny and on-point ‘bouncing off each other’ moments. Due to the eager and all-over-the-place vibe of Stalker, it seems that Ronan (“ Lady Bird “, “The French Dispatch”) had the time of her life while filming this movie. Her performance is exceptionally vibrant, hilarious and captivating.
If you combine her acting with the darker and gloomy but equally hilarious performance by Rockwell (“ Richard Jewell”, “ Jojo Rabbit “), then you get perfect on-screen detectives. While the overall cast is incredible, Dickinson (“County Lines”, “Where the Crawdads Sing”) and Wilson (“True Things”, “The Little Stranger”) are shining the brightest as they deliver the most memorable scenes as incredibly self-obsessed actor and the underhand theatre manager.
When watching “See How They Run”, it becomes clear that cinematographer Jamie Ramsay (“Moffie”, “District 9”) was either inspired by “The Grand Budapest Hotel”, wanted to honour Wes Anderson his work or a combination of both. The vibrant and diverse colours, the rapid usage of flashbacks, the split screens, etc. create stylish, fun and dazzling visuals. The combination between this marvellous cinematography and the entertaining performances makes the film fly by extremely fast.
While we’re eagerly waiting for “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery”, “See How They Run” has quenched our thirst for an excellent whodunnit. This superb debut feature from George is a sheer delight thanks to the witty script, hilarious conversations, outstanding performances and impressive cinematography.
“See How They Run” is out now in U.K. cinemas.
Originally published at https://www.ocmoviereviews.com.