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See How They Run


Stars: Sam Rockwell, Saiorse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Harris Dickinson, David Oyelowo, Reece Shearsmith, Pearl Chanda, Charlie Cooper, Shirley Henderson, Pippa Bennett-Warner

Director: Tom George

Or: See How They Ruin...a Jim-Dandy Idea. This is a spoof farce-thriller, probably the bastard grandchild of such olden-day films as Murder By Death and The Cheap Detective and spun round the 100th performance of the long-running Agatha Christie murder-mystery play The Mousetrap, starring Richard Attenborough, which Hollywood and UK film-makers are here keen to turn into a movie.

But then two of those connected to the idea are brutally murdered, to the consternation of alcoholic Inspector Stoppard of the Yard (Rockwell) and eager Constable Stalker (Ronan), not to mention those members of the cast who fear they may be the next victim, and even Christie herself (Henderson, delightful as usual).

The script, apart from some mildly funny moments for Ronan, one of the few good things in the film, is entirely devoid of conviction or inspiration, while the pace is best described as jagged, often too slow for this kind of pastiche, and packed with awkward moments.

Rockwell stumbles through the leading role of the static puzzle-pic, battling his English accent as well as the booze, while English-born if US-based Dickinson has the Attenborough voice about right, although the performance itself, like most of the cast, is as stiff as a board.

Talking of puzzles, why 6ft 3in Dickinson is cast as Attenborough in the first place is a mystery bigger than anything by Christie. As the charismatic 'Dickie darling' might have admitted in his own words. he was something of a short-arse. Short-changed is what you will be, though, if you expect anything but a few amusing lines of dialogue - 'That was the ski he took in the face,' says Ronan, poker-faced. 'I'm afraid it was downhill from then on.'

Hard to 'see how' this managed to get itself a 12A certificate, although there is some mild violence.

David Quinlan

UK/USA 2022. UK Distributor: Disney (Searchlight). Colour by Panalux.
97 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 1, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 07 Sep 2022