there was barely any running. anywhere.
A fun whodunit that has the same fall vibes as Knives Out, See How They Run is a 1950s-themed murder mystery film starring Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan.
After performing the 100th performance of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap in London’s West End, the director of the looming film adaptation is murdered. Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and Constable Stalker (Ronan) are assigned to the case which takes them all over the city. They form an unlikely friendship and allyhood throughout the film as they crack the case together.
The film is a classic Christie-esqe mystery (literally, as she makes an appearance) and makes for a fun trip to the movies. The first two acts are a delight and a meta love letter to the classic mystery genre. Beyond that, there isn’t much to this film––the cast of characters who are working for the play are reminiscent of the Thrombeys in Knives Out, but they aren’t carbon copies. This makes them somewhat interesting, as they have different personalities to the Thrombeys, but their motives are mostly similar, causing their overall arcs to feel tired and done before. This comparison, though, makes sense as Knives Out was inspired by Christie’s work.
Rockwell’s character is very meta and is like the one straight character in the whole film, and his dynamic with Ronan’s Constable Stalker is the heart of the film. It is important to note that Ronan steals the show in every scene that she’s in. The dynamic displayed here is one of the best comedic parts of the film and has a great emotional payoff at the end.
Stylistically, this film was a romp. I found it to be loyal to its genre but through text on the screen, the credits, the comedy and some editing choices, it was not outdated in any way. I found it so enjoyable when I didn’t have to think about it…that’s what this film is. And I think that’s what they meant for it to be.
The last act of this film left so much to be desired. The exposed killer didn’t do it for me, as I was hoping there would be more of a hard-hitter than there was. The reveal made it so hard to care, as the character was not as interesting as they could’ve been. There is a part of the last act that is heavily foreshadowed early on in the film, but the payoff did not pack as much of an emotional punch as the filmmakers were hoping for.
Despite the ending, the aesthetic of this film made me so much more prepared for autumn, cold weather, hot chocolate, and warm sweaters. The warm coats and ’50s outfits in this film made me want to create a Pinterest board inspired by it. If you want to watch a mindless, fun mystery that feels like a cozy trip to the movies, then this film is for you. If you want an ending you will be thinking about for weeks, I wouldn’t recommend this.