See How They WhoDunnit

See How They Run plays fast and loose with the “classic” detective genre. It’s a fun movie with plenty of low humour ie slapstick moments that (somehow) still manage to raise audience snickers. But there’s a lot more to the movie. It has, for the True Detective fan lots of fun puns.

Set in 1953, The Mousetrap is celebrating its 100th performance and… guess what? Someone is murdered. And that someone is the American director Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody) a vastly unlikeable import who’s in London to oversee the movie version of The Mousetrap. Several people have good reason to want Kopernic dead, of course, so whodunnit?

Enter Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan). They’re on the case. Rockwell is okay (personally, I think Brody would’ve been better cast as Stoppard)—he doesn’t bother much about perfecting a British accent, but Ronan is annoyingly good as his over-eager assistant. She’s keen to earn her detective chops and he’s about as world weary as any gumshoe who staggers from bottle to bottle. Eventually the twosome stumble through clues to solve the murder.

The beauty of Mark Chappell’s script is the subtext. Of course, the moment we are introduced to the Real Inspector Stoppard, the hunt is on for crime fiction easter eggs. I’m not going to spoil it, but see how many you can rack up. Here’s one to get you started, it’s true that The Mousetrap is based on a real story, and the Agatha Christie elements will delight those who know anything about her life.

Another delight is London. The alleyways and West End of the era are Co-Vid empty which is all the better for cinematography. Missing though is a great soundtrack which would not only have anchored the film but delighted older viewers. I am disappointed I don’t remember the costuming better – but looking at stills, I had my visual head in the sand.

See How They Run is a movie worth seeing. Yes, the title has relevance as does the victim’s name, but I’m not going to spoil it for you…sleuth it yourself.

PG 13

1 hour 38 minutes

In theatres 29 September