REVIEW: ‘See How They Run’ succeeds on strong humor

More Saoirse Ronan mystery movies, please.

In director Tom George’s feature film debut, Ronan portrays Constable Stalker, a young officer on the force, who is assisting Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockewell) on a murder case. The victim in the case is Leo Kopernick (Adrien Brody), a film director who was set to helm the adaptation of Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.”

As it just so happens, there are plenty of suspects who had a dislike for Leo, and the investigators’ case soon becomes an Agatha Christie-like whodunit. The two protagonists have to work quickly, too, as the murderer remains a danger to others involved in the production.

Director Tom George and writer Mark Chappell have mostly worked in television and it shows in “See How They Run.” There’s an episodic, mystery of the week feel to the whole affair and it ends up lacking a cinematic atmosphere.

It’s a very simple, light movie, with little in terms of character arcs, story depth and mystery intrigue. The latter is really noticeable, the mystery is not very complex and it being solved doesn’t feel entirely clever.

However, with all of that said, “See How They Run” is still quite enjoyable. It’s not going to blow anyone’s mind with a twist in the mystery and none of the characters are all that deep, but as a breezy whodunit, it’s pretty enjoyable. The movie also has a major trump card up its sleeve.

Courtesy Searchlight Pictures.

That card is comedy. “How They Run” is a really damn funny movie, with the characters all having a sharp, humorous wit and plenty of comedic dialogue between them. There are a plethora of funny lines, jokes and gags throughout the picture, many of them successfully landing to produce laughs.

It’s also a very self aware flick, embracing its whodunit roots and trotting out each of them on screen with a wink. The film even goes so far as to feature Agatha Christie as a character in a fun little bit.

Carrying the torch for the comedy, and stealing every scene she’s in, is the four-time Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan. She makes the earnest, eager rookie officer character really charming, and she also gets some of the best lines in the film, which she delivers on.

Ronan isn’t the only talented performer, though, as the movie features Oscar winners Sam Rockwell and Adrien Brody. Regarding the former, while Ronan does in fact steal many scenes they share, he’s still really good in his own right as an experienced but unenthusiastic detective.

“See How They Run” is fluff, but it’s good fluff. It has a good cast, a lot of humor and clocks in with a reasonable runtime, making it a nice choice for a relaxing afternoon matinee on a weekend. 3.5 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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