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'Knives Out' Review: Delicious Murder and a Not-So-Nice Chris Evans

In his new film, Rian Johnson re-vamps the whodunnit with clever quips, outrageous fun, and subvert social commentary in white America

 No worries readers, the spoilers will be kept to a bare minimum and considering how delightful ‘Knives Out’ was, everyone should experience it in its full capacity. This polished game of cat-and-mouse, ‘Knives Out’, spins the classic, whodunnit plot into delicious fun, but with a sprinkle of social commentary reminiscent of Jordan Peele’s ventures into the psychological horror genre. The movie uses the old-fashioned whodunnit, with mystery, suspense, plenty of blood, a cast of equality suspicious characters, and a house brimming with eccentric paraphernalia only a mystery writer or a horror fan would have. 

The film starts off with the grisly murder of eccentric, mystery writer Harlan Thrompey (Christopher Plummer), who nails the charming villain with a codependent family too well. Like any whodunnit, Harlan’s relationship to each character keeps viewers guessing and rooting for the most unlikely of heroes. And to the rescue (as usual), Daniel Craig’s Benoit Blanc makes viewers simultaneously facepalm and root for, despite his terrible Southern accent that initially sounds like a Frenchman trying to do a Cajun accent with no luck. 

Johnson toys with the audience and their expectations, leaving various clues throughout the film that distract viewers from the true killer with flashbacks and wild, character interactions. Harlan’s virtuous caretaker Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas) seems to be an outsider looking in and seems to be the only redeemable character in the film while criticizing the wealthy Thrompey family and their Trump-era commentary. The film makes digs at the absurdity of white America, specifically white Trump supporters and their “no outsiders” philosophy. 

The social commentary directed at wealthy, white America perfectly matches the over-indulgent and co-dependent Thrompey clan. Since Jordan Peele’s smash-hit ‘Get Out’, thrillers and horrors have become the Ground Zero for conversations about racial injustice, income equality, and wealth distribution in the states. ‘Knives Out’ pinpoints the paradoxical, upper-class, white Americans who claim to be “liberal” but will spout racist and xenophobic speech to practice their free speech. The hilarity of watching a wealthy and utterly ridiculous family lose their shit is probably the most delightful part of ‘Knives Out’. 

The rest of the Thrompey clan, presided over by Jamie Lee Curtis, is the poster child for Dysfunctional Families, with Michael Shannon, Don Johnson, Chris Evans, and Toni Collette sinking into their outrageous archetypes. Chris Evans, despite playing America’s favorite superhero Captain America, is anything but virtuous and honorable in the film. His “eat shit” comments went viral the week the trailer for ‘Knives Out’ was released. His colorful outlook and commentary throughout the film were a delightful turn from Evans usual clean-cut or stoic roles. 

So, yes, I will make Chris Evans saying “eat shit” my ringtone, because villainy and mystery never looked nor sounded so good. 

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