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Review: See How They Run (2022)

Whodunnit? No, seriously. Who made this movie because I’m an instant fan!

With the release of See How They Run (2022) and the upcoming releases of Amsterdam (2022) and Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022), I couldn’t help but wonder: Are swanky, elaborate murder-mystery-comedies that may or may be set decades ago be the newest fall trend? Is everyone trying to have their own version of Knives Out (2019)? By the way, check out my review for that movie, here. If that’s the case, this is a trend I can absolutely get behind! I already love a good murder mystery but then when you add in elements like, old Hollywood, screwball comedy, theatrical productions and campy characters, I am ALL IN! In a movie landscape that’s dominated by superheroes, reboots, and thinly-veiled bids for Oscar nominations, it warms my chilly heart to see a resurgence in murder mysteries. If anything can heal our broken world, it’s more murder mysteries being seen by today’s moviegoing audiences. 

Credit: / Searchlight Pictures

See How They Run takes place in London’s West End during the 1950s, where a smash-hit play called “The Mousetrap” has become so successful, that a movie version is being put into pre-production. But when the movie’s director is found murdered at the theatre, both production and the play are put on hold. Now it is up to the sardonic Inspector Stoppard and the eager Constable Stalker to crack the case.

Going to this movie is the first time in quite some time that I’ve gone to see something in theatres without any inclination or idea of what I may see or how the movie will turn out. Which I loved! Although See How They Run inevitably relies on and indulges in the tropes best associated with the mystery genre, it does so with love and reverence, never with artifice or cliché. Obviously the works of Agatha Christie are a major inspiration (she’s a whole dang character for crying out loud) and See How They Run feels like a story straight out of the legendary author’s collection. More than that though, the movie succeeds at capturing the tone and style of the old school adaptations of her books. As well as the camp, elegance and mystique that help make those movies so memorable and beloved. Let me put it this way: If See How They Run we’re being made in the 1970s, I totally could see the likes of Maggie Smith, Michael Caine and Peter Sellers being cast in pivotal roles. Wait…is it too late to make that movie happen? I know Peter Sellers is dead but that’s not a real problem, is it?

In a lot of ways, See How They Run reminded me of a film noir from the 1940s. Not just because of the hardboiled detective and the glamorous costumes, but also because of the wry, witty script. The dialogue is snappy and fast-paced, keeping in tone with the overall pacing of the movie. That snappy wit is slightly reminiscent of Wes Anderson and that’s not the only thing that reminded me of the eclectic director. It wasn’t constant, but there were times when the eye-catching production design and unique camera angles strongly reminded me of Anderson. Who knows? Maybe first time director Tom George is the next Wes Anderson. The next Wes Anderson with just the teeniest hint of Mel Brooks. I say that because while See How They Run isn’t hilarious, it’s got a quirky bite to it that feels like if Brooks were to do a parody of a whodunnit. Though See How They Run is less of a parody and more or an incredibly tongue in cheek satire. The movie is a great blend of mystery and comedy that fans of both genres are sure to enjoy.

The entire cast of See How They Run is fun to watch and understand their parts perfectly, but let’s be honest: This is Saoirse Ronan’s movie hands down, no questions asked. Ronan always picks interesting roles and projects that are best suited for her abundance of charm, delight and talent. As Constable Stalker, Ronan overflows with charisma and energy making for a performance that is an utter joy to watch. She’s subtle when she needs to be and brash when necessary, managing to illicit a chuckle from me multiple times throughout the movie. Her comedic timing is wonderful. Ronan can do any genre in any time period. She always adapts flawlessly to whatever kind of time and place she’s in. While Ronan is the undisputed star of See How They Run, I did love her chemistry with Sam Rockwell who plays Inspector Stoppard. I want to see these two team up to solve more crimes! It’s a tried and true trope of pairing the gruff with the earnest, but these two pull it off exceptionally well. Oh, and special shoutout to David Oyelowo who is doing the most and chewing all the scenery. I kind of loved it. 

If murder-mystery-comedies truly are the movie season’s hottest trend, than consider me to be the trendiest person this fall. I am so here for this resurgence and I’m ecstatic that there’s a movie like See How They Run leading the charge. There’s no real mystery here. See How They Run is a competent movie worthy of your time and attention.

Have you seen See How They Run?

Let me know in the comments or on social media!

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