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While everyone else is hamming it up playing monstrous psychopaths on an operatic scale, Malkovich wafts glumly from scene to scene, his facial expressions rarely more animated than someone trying to do long division in his head.
Phelps adapts this particular mystery novel taking a few liberties, and all of them are commendable. The hero is more vulnerable, even tragic, and Malkovich plays him tenderly, without overplaying him at all.
Sarah Phelps gives [Poirot] the tragic refugee's back-story Christie unaccountably overlooked in a drama about identity, migration and fear of the other.
With the basic joys of superior sleuthing mostly stripped out, the remaining pleasure you expect from a Christie adaptation is the opportunity afforded to a talented cast by its congregation of suspects and victims.
No one will ever call Mr. Malkovich a minimalist, but he does strip away the customary flamboyance, thus making Poirot new.
The ABC Murders can lose momentum and leave one wondering if a brisker two-hour mystery would be more enjoyable for one's little grey cells.
For those who stick with it, the miniseries' second half has a few clever, satisfying twists up its sleeve.
The ABC Murders is the least successful of Phelps' recent Christie adaptations, though it is still entertaining enough.
The series is dry and without much humor, its focus on a more visceral violence and disturbing nature than past Poirot tales, and its ramifications on Poirot's nature.
Audience Reviews for The ABC Murders: Miniseries
Feb 11, 2021Whatever it is, it isn't Agatha Christie and it isn't Poirot.
Jan 20, 2021Possible the worst Poirot adaptation ever made, this bears virtually no relation to the original story what so ever. If you want to make something else, make something else and call it something else. Please don't trash much loved stories.
Jan 03, 2021If you're going to adapt a novel into a TV show, changing major parts of the plot is just going to ruin it for those who know the novel. This is also extremely slow, and really quite boring. I'm a fan of Malkovich, but playing a Belgian detective in 1930's Britain is a step beyond his talents.
Apr 01, 2019Dreadful. They butchered Agatha Christine story.
Feb 18, 2019Terrible version of the original. The acting was brilliant but changes from the original and addition of xenophobia was unnecessary.
Feb 12, 2019First episode was slow moving but the subsequent episodes hooked me!
Feb 10, 2019Terrible adaptation of the great Agatha Christie's work. Malkovich is not Hercule Poirot, slow and no personality. The twists were too drawn out to make a longer series. Very disappointing.
Jan 31, 2019It is only three episodes?! Maybe it should be called a mini-miniseries.
Jan 12, 2019A darker, brooding take on Agatha Christie. Malkovich's Poirot comes off as much more human, though the genius and attendant arrogance is still present. Overall, it's a welcome change from the Christie adaptations of the past. Very chilling.
Jan 12, 2019I had good fortune to watch both the BBCs version and last week a repeat of ITVs David Suchet as Poirot in same mystery so able to compare. Whereas BBC adaption had Poirot as a has been, the ITV was lively and engaging and very watchable, plus helped being contained within two hour slot, not stretched out over three nights. The flash back in new version culminating in our discovery of Poirot as a priest not a policeman was sacrilege to original book. Might as well re-write all history, perhaps hitler was a misunderstood flourist and not a failed painter! Just change the back story doesn't matter! Poirot is nimble light and intelligent not dark moody and a social outcast in BBC version. Getting sick to death with BBC and what they do to drama, take Dr Who as example of ruining a classic. For me the BBC needs to fend gf or itself and fail if produces programs nobody will watch. Might then dump SJW rubbish.