While there is plenty of fun to be had with this whodunnit, it feels as though the story falls slightly flat.
The murder mystery genre has certainly had a bit of a revival in recent years, with Kenneth Branagh’s turns as Hercule Poirot and Rian Johnson’s immensely enjoyable Knives Out for example showing the ongoing fascination with the genre. Now, here is an immensely silly but still somewhat entertaining film that will delight fans of theatre and Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.
Written by Mark Chappell and directed by Tom George, See How They Run is set around the backstage of the London production of The Mousetrap at a time when the production was celebrating its 100th performance. However, the drama on stage transfers to off stage when film director Leo Kopernick (who hopes to make The Mousetrap into a film) is somewhat brutally murdered – with a number of actors and creatives all under the suspicion of murder. It comes down to Inspector Stoppard and Constable Stalker to try and solve the murder (without jumping to conclusions of course – a long running joke throughout the film) and prevent it from happening again.
For theatre fans, there are plenty of delightful in-jokes to appreciate and the script is filled with references to The Mousetrap that will keep you thoroughly entertained. However, perhaps the story itself feels slightly less well developed as a murder mystery – a lack of suspense and build up to the unveiling as well as not giving enough time for each of the suspects personalities and motives to develop effectively as you would expect, making it feel a little bit flat in this regard.
This being said, it is still very enjoyable because it is clear from start to finish it is not a film that has been designed to be taken too seriously, each of the characters have a quirky appeal about them (although as I have already mentioned it would be lovely to spend more time in their company) that are all performed with great enthusiasm by the cast.
At the centre of it all, Sam Rockwell as Inspector Stoppard has a wonderful dryness about him which makes for a perfect foil for Saiorse Ronan’s overly eager Constable Stalker. It has to be said, there is a real delight in watching Ronan in this – her wonderful delivery comedy wise is a genuine surprise and she is definitely a standout in this. But they are supported by a wonderful ensemble – including Adrien Brody as the arrogant and swaggering director Leo (who also narrates), Harris Dickinson who brings charisma in his performance as Richard Attenborough and Charlie Cooper as Dennis the front of house staff member whose understated performance works well in the larger context of the story.
Overall, it is a playful and enjoyable film – but could have used a bit more story development to make it thoroughly enjoyable.
By Emma Clarendon