2022, Movies

See How They Run (2022, Tom George)

This is a reasonably diverting and amusing mystery comedy that riffs on The Mousetrap, the infamous Agatha Christie play that has run in London’s West End, nearly continuously, for almost 70 years. (I have never seen it. It’s run was only interrupted by covid.) I wouldn’t say you have to seen The Mousetrap or read the short story it’s based on to enjoy the film, though I’m sure it helps. One more word of warning: the whole thing is extremely meta.

Jenn called this “a trifle” and I think this is apt. It has the feeling of a “small” movie in the more traditional sense of the word, only it has the cast of a much bigger movie; not Glass Onion big but not that much smaller. (Ten years ago, two of the three main characters were pretty major movie stars. The other lead is a major movie star now. And there’s one other pretty big star in it. You could frame it in many ways as the straight-to-streaming/low-rent Glass Onion but I feel like that does a disservice to both films.) It doesn’t aspire to much more than entertainment, which is fine. It just so happens that it is a murder mystery comedy, and it is about the murder of someone making a murder mystery play into a film.

I generally think the cast is mostly good, though are some weird casting decisions that I won’t go into (because they didn’t bother me particularly). I will say it’s weird that Rockwell is here as the star given that most of the rest of the cast is British/Irish. (The one other major American actor plays an American.)

The story is extremely meta, more so as it goes along. It’s probably too meta for its own good, and given that it’s not at once both very meta and very clever – the most meta aspect of the film doesn’t actually make very much sense if you think about it. (It’s a spoiler so I won’t reveal it.)

It’s reasonably funny. I laughed more times than I thought I would and I definitely audibly laughed enough times that I felt like I was enjoying myself. The humour, though hardly first rate, is good enough. And it’s also constant enough through most of the movie. Though there is a threat that the film will get more serious in its climax, it mostly avoids that. This is a good thing.

It’s definitely the kind of movie you can just put on and not worry too much about. You do have to pay at least a little bit of attention, given that it’s a murder mystery, but it’s merely diverting. As a reasonably well-executed diversion, I was happy to watch it.


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