Review by Camden Ferrell
See How They Run is a murder comedy and the feature directorial debut of experience television director Tom George. The movie is written by another television veteran, Mark Chappell. It can definitely feel like a cheap imitation of Wes Anderson, but it is also a fun, fast-paced whodunnit that will keep audiences on their toes.
It is London in the 1950’s, and there is a smash-hit play that is performing in West End. Due to this success, there are plans for a movie adaptation to be made. However, all of these plans come to a halt when the director of the film is murdered. Now, Constable Stalker and Inspector Stoppard must investigate this crime among a cast of eccentric characters with different motivations. It’s a generic set up for a typical murder mystery, but this is one of the few genres where the typical set up never really gets boring.
The writing for the movie is fast-paced and quite witty at times. It can occasionally stumble on some clichés, but it still has a handful of hilarious lines and exchanges. As far as the mystery goes, there are a few good twists in the story. Even if it can become a tad predictable towards the end, I will admit this one took longer to figure out than other murder mysteries.
The cast is great in this movie. It’s led by Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell who are the two people tasked with investigating the murder. Their chemistry is great, and Ronan probably has the best comedic timing and delivery in the ensemble. The rest of the cast consists of names like Adrien Brody, Harris Dickinson, and David Oyelowo, and they are all above average in their roles with how eccentrically fitting their performances are.
The movie’s biggest flaw and greatest virtue is its style. While it is visually engaging and well-executed, it is practically a carbon copy of Wes Anderson’s visual style. It’s enjoyable and fun, but it lacks originality, and it can ultimately feel void of a singular director’s vision. It’s one of the most textbook cases of imitation being the sincerest form of plagiarism.
See How They Run will easily please fans of whodunnits, and it boasts a strong cast with a relatively unpredictable set of twists for the viewers. Ronan and Rockwell are the clear standouts, but the movie has a lot working in its favor. It both benefits and suffers from its visual style, but it doesn’t significantly bring down the overall enjoyment of the movie.
See How They Run will be in theaters September 16.