Title – See How They Run (2022)
Director – Tom George (feature debut)
Cast – Sam Rockwell, Saoirse Ronan, Adrien Brody, Harris Dickinson, Ruth Wilson, David Oyelowo
Plot – Mismatched duo Inspector Stoppard (Rockwell) and Constable Stalker (Ronan) investigate a grissly murder on the set of Agatha Christie’s famed Mouse Trap during the 1950’s heyday of London.
“It’s a whodunit. You’ve seen one, you’ve seen ’em all!”
Review by Eddie on 22/05/2023
A mild hit upon release with acceptable box office performance and equally so reviews, the star-studded self-aware whodunit See How They Run is a perfect example of a mid-tier film that is neither great nor terrible but must be judged slightly harder than one may have otherwise done when you consider the star wattage at its disposal and the potential for it to be a modern day comedic murder mystery up there with the Knives Out of the world.
Set in 1950’s London where Agatha Christie’s work Mouse Trap is lighting up the stage world on the West End, Tom George’s feature length debut follows the mismatched duo of Sam Rockwell’s Inspector Stoppard and Saoirse Ronan’s kindly Constable Stalker as the two very different operators investigate the murder of Adrien Brody’s Hollywood director on the set of the play, with someone involved in the production likely to be the perpetrator responsible the offing that lays at the heart of this comically minded outing.
Gifting Rockwell a rare leading role alongside the scene stealing Saoirse Ronan, who is nothing short of a revelation in what acts as her first real major comedic turn outside of some minor roles in Wes Anderson outings, George had significant talent and skillsets available for him to utilise in this well-shot but pedestrian feeling experience that sometimes appears set to break free from its sluggish chains only to find itself constantly battling to be anything more than passably amusing.
Most notably for the film is its inability to maximise the talented Rockwell as Stoppard who delivers one of his more forgettable recent performances as a character that may’ve been as interesting as a Hercule Poirot or Benoit Blanc but never manages to become the type of memorable lead character or centrepiece the film needed with Ronan stealing all the films best moments as the likeable and sincere Stalker who is eager to pinpoint the murder on various suspects on more than one occasion.
Supported by the likes of talented performers such as Ruth Wilson, David Oyelowo, Reece Shearsmith and Harris Dickinson, you’ll never be bored or utterly uninterested through Run’s quick-fire 90 minute exercise but there’s nothing here outside of Ronan’s fun turn that you will remember or fondly recall, something that is not at all an issue with the best of these type of fun and twisting rides.
Final Say –
When weighted against all the talent involved and potential possible See How They Run can’t be qualified as a success, even if Saoirse Ronan delivers one of last years most purely enjoyable turns in an against type role that further establishes her as one of the most talented all-rounders working in the industry.
2 1/2 cups of tea out of 5
Did this film just make its way to America? As a fan of Golden Age detective fiction I was really looking forward to this but it was a disappointment, with a thin storyline and shallow characters not really justified by the filmic stylisation. Your rating is pretty fair.
I caught this one on Disney+ here mate. It really did feel like a missed opportunity this one, such a great cast and potentially interesting story, it just meandered along without doing anything special sadly.
Thanks for your review, spot on. The whole film has a pacing issue, it feels to me as though everything was slowed down slightly either for its older audience or to give time for audience laughter, as if it’s a live play. It’s all too slow for farce, which it tries to be.
Very good point! The flow of the film and tone is off for me. I was so excited to see Rockwell get another lead turn, such a shame the film couldn’t build around him.
I wish this one scored higher, it sounds like it has the talent, story, and theme I enjoy. I’ll check it out to see what you said about Saoirse Ronan. I think she’s a great actress. My #3 daughter Sinead was going to be a Saoirse but we knew no one on this side of the pond would be able to spell it.
I really expected this to be a lot better, it’s not bad bad but its very mediocre.
I feel like I always say Saoirse a little different every time when I speak her name out loud, such a fantastic talent though, her turn in Atonement is always one I will remember fondly and shes only ever gotten better since.