“See How They Run” (2022)

MOVIE REVIEW: “See How They Run” stars Sam Rockwell (Seven Psychopaths, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri), Saoirse Ronan (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Lady Bird), Adrien Brody (The French Dispatch, Predators), David Oyelowo (Selma, Jack Reacher [2012]), Harris Dickinson (Beach Rats, The King’s Man), Ruth Wilson (Luther [TV series], Saving Mr. Banks), Pearl Chanda (I May Destroy You [TV series], War of the Worlds [TV series]), Tim Key (Alan Partridge, The Double), Reece Shearsmith (High-Rise, Shaun of the Dead), Sian Clifford (Fleabag [TV series], Life After Life [TV series]), Jacob Fortune-Lloyd (Crooked House, Othello), Pippa Bennett-Warner (Gangs of London [TV series], Real), and Charlie Cooper (Greed, This Country [TV series]). It is directed by Tom George (This Country [TV series], Defending the Guilty [TV series]) and written by Mark Chappell (Flaked [TV series], Glued [TV series]).

When an American film director (Brody) is murdered, a gruff London inspector (Rockwell) takes up the case, with an eager rookie constable (Ronan) jumping in as his partner.

Every now and then, you’ll get a stylistic feature akin to the likes of Wes Anderson. “See How They Run” is 2022’s chief example. And what makes things better? It’s a period piece whodunnit!

I can’t begin to explain how this movie made my heart soar, simply because it was a fun one to watch. It’s an easy, elegant, smooth viewing experience, fit with witty dialogue, entertaining performances, and beautiful aesthetic. For those who love to dip their toes into style-forward filmmaking, this is a solid one to choose.

“See How They Run” follows the case of an American film director who is murdered on the night of the 100th showing of Agatha Christie’s Mouse Trap in West End. He was set to direct the feature film adaptation, but apparently someone had it out for him. Now, a weary inspector (played by the brilliant Sam Rockwell) follows the trail to figure out who did it, and everyone is suspect. Dun dun dun! While not the most compelling of murder mysteries, this flick does its darndest to give you a show of stylistic beauty and wonder. They achieved great heights in the visual department, with lush sceneries and fantastic color schemes that make every frame a treat to devour. It resembles the sort of elegant filmmaking British cinema brings to the table, where the execution is smooth and the story polite (even though murder is involved). Being that October was riddled with the serious and haunting, it was a breath of fresh air to see something more kind.

Rockwell’s performance in this is equally matched with the contrasting personality of Saoirse Ronan’s Constable Stalker. Their chemistry is the glue that held this narrative together, and I thought their bond to be sweet. It was honestly more compelling than the mystery at hand, though that also had its fun moments. The suspects in question are portrayed by a solid group of performers, with stand-outs including Harris Dickinson, David Oyelowo, and Pearl Chanda. They all were fairly unique in personality, and complimented one another as they shared scenes. Their characters were given motives – and I will admit to not knowing who was the murderer – but some were clearly given more development than others. From what I’ve gathered of the mysteries that I have seen, the culprit is usually the one who is given less screen time, as the audience is least likely to suspect them. I won’t spoil who committed the crime in this, but when one considers the notion I mention, it become rather apparent.

This movie doesn’t necessarily take risks. It doesn’t seek shock-value, but more so witty execution. There is jovial humor that makes one smile than laugh, and the narrative ultimately serves the purposes of picking apart an Agatha Christie mystery while at the same time filling the role of one. It’s an interesting study. I laughed a few times, and found Brody’s narration to be a clever plot device. As the journey reached its end, the film never let up on its stylistic pursuit, offering us a climax riddled with awkward humor and brilliant slow-motion. For me, it’s a wonderful package. It reminds me of the movies that inspired me to be a filmmaker (particularly those of Wes Anderson), warming my heart in the process. And while I do wish that the story/case itself was a bit more compelling, I commend the filmmakers for granting me a joyful viewing experience.

“See How They Run” is easily one of the most overlooked films of this year. I haven’t seen much press or advertising for it, and that is a shame. There’s a lot of work put into the frames of this flick, and if you enjoy mysteries with style, you will have fun with this one. I recommend it. FINAL SCORE: 88%= Juicy Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

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