Though Oscar winners highlight its cast, See how they Run actress Saoirse Ronan runs away with the show. Playing an over-enthusiastic cop faced with her first whodunnit, Ronan shifts from the meanness that earned her first Oscar nomination in Atonement to an engaging naivete delivering lines with open zeal. Her innocence falls into a knowing script, with writer Mark Chappell completely aware of all the rules required by a whodunnit.
Chappell’s love for the genre extends to the story’s setting, 1953 during the early stage run of The Mousetrap. The play proves a phenomenon whose success continues today where it still plays in London—taking a break only briefly during the Covid-19 quarantine.
With narration outlining the story’s dynamics, writer Chappell offers a self-aware entry to the genre. Some of that self-awareness feels forced, but without seriously detracting from the project’s overall sense of fun. Director Tom George channels style from The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Wes Anderson and guides his cast towards a light touch. Oscar winner/Anderson alumni Adrien Brody easily fits the mold. Meanwhile, Sam Rockwell—who also boasts an Oscar--keeps his own comic timing flowing smoothly.
Other recognizable names come from the story’s characters. Christie herself shows up while David’s brother Richard Attenborough plays a part. By all odds, Attenborough—who starred in the first iteration of The Mousetrap and went on to win an Oscar directing Gandhi—qualifies as the least likely suspect and therefore, the murderer. Spoiler alert: not the case. Whodunnit proves a lesser twist—kind of like The Mousetrap’s solution so the journey proves more enjoyable than the destination.