Knives Out

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Knives Out is a highly enjoyable whodunit comedy with terrific directing and writing from Rian Johnson and excellent performances from its cast. One of the best films in recent years.

I rented this movie from RedBox.

This is a good solid crime mystery in the same vein as Clue. They even reference Clue once in the film when talking about the house.
At the same time, this takes your typical mystery formula and flips some of the elements on its head, turning the story out in a very different and fun way through the perspective of one of the characters.

And despite the movie actually showing you a lot of what actually happened early on, it still keeps you on your toes, at the edge of your seat waiting to see what happens next.
It's very difficult to talk much about this movie without giving too much away in spoilers, but it's very good. As I was hoping and expecting from Rian Johnson with how good The Last Jedi turned out. Yes I said it.

Mistake Status: Didn't catch any on the first viewing. I'll likely buy and watch this movie again.

Quantom X Premium member

This movie deserves praise for being an unconventional wuddunit, but it does not necessarily mean it is a good one. Its structure is not devoid of intriguing aspects, and does a lovely job involving the viewer by putting some real stakes in for the protagonist, going beyond the pure intellectual cat-and-mouse guessing game. The two elements that perplex me, especially considering the wild praise for its cleverness, are the fact that the plot is well structured when it comes to emotion and storytelling but way too rough around the edges in small irritating ways, with large logical loopholes (some may be deliberate, some certainly are not), and most importantly, it utterly wastes about half of its cast giving them practically nothing to do, in part exactly because eliminating entirely the guesswork there's little reason for them to be there except for rather formulaic interactions. I have my reservations about the writing when it comes to dialogues, not so memorable for the most part, and painfully self-aware at times. In fact, I don't really know what to do with the political subtext, or rather, flashing hovertext: it is handled in such a hamfisted way that I am not even sure of its actual meaning. The story itself conveys a 'political' message without any need for actual random buzzwords thrown in all of a sudden.

Good news is that those characters who do get a fair amount of screentime and any weight in the plot work wonderfully. De Armas is very likeable, Craig is hilarious, Evans is charmingly villainous. It's a fun movie, just it feels like parts of the mix did not quite work as smoothly as they were supposed to be, but I suspect it's because Rian Johnson's idea of what is funny or clever do not resonate well with me. It happens!

Sammo Premium member

Plot hole: The killer shows up at the scheduled appointment at 8 AM. They kill the idiot blackmailer with an overdose of morphine. Remember, that morphine that supposedly killed Thrombey in 10 minutes. Marta finds the blackmailer at 10 AM...alive, and does CPR on them, keeping them alive long enough for the ambulance to come and bring them to the hospital, even if in critical condition. So we went from "kills in 10 minutes, you can't even try to save him" to "after 2 hours, you are still hanging on"? (01:56:10)

Sammo Premium member

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Marta injected an absurdly large dose. A smaller overdose would not kill in 10 minutes.

I read that objection before. From 10 minutes to 2 hours there's quite a leap that the movie does not explain or address at all, if it were part of the plot they should have said why this difference, on something so time sensitive (of which they got the factual details wrong anyway). Even visually when you look at the dose injected to Harlan and the dose in the syringe for the murder, they do not look different. He even stabs her with the syringe. Which makes sense since he has no reason to leave her there with a small. Controlled overdose in her veins risking that she would be saved as it -almost - happens - it's amazing he got away with it to begin with because she is so dumb to show up for no reason in a derelict place without talking to her accomplice that passed her the toxi report, or anyone.Without a throwaway line from an investigator or anything of the sort ("but you injected her the wrong way, so she was still alive two hours after"), we are just left with an inconsistency.

Sammo Premium member

Suggested correction: You've assumed a hell of a lot! Marta said Thrombey was given a dose of 100 mg (instead 3) of Morphine and would die in 10 minutes unless given the antidote. You just asserted that "Thrombey would die in 10 minutes" as if it was fait accompli, while Thrombey didn't die of morphine overdoes at all! (He cut his own throat.) For all we know, Marta's 10-minute assessment was a worst-case-scenario assessment. Fran's age and physique, as well as Marta's CPR, helped negate the effect until the ambulance arrives. If the medics administered the antidote, it could have prolonged Fran's life. Finally, 2 hours is the time after which the viewer is informed of Fran's death, not her actual death time. Most importantly, this happens in the medical world all the time: A person who is supposed to die after 3 days lives for 16 years. There are case-by-case explanations for each one, but they baffle the medical examiners at first.

FleetCommand

Two hours is not my assumption or when the viewer is informed of her death; the killer gives the appointment to the victim at 8 AM and to Marta at 10 AM, so as I said, after 2 hours with 0 medical care on her she is still hanging on and with barely a little tap she is ready to dispense important clues. I go by what the movie says also about the 10 minutes overdose time. Of course if you tell me that baffling freak occurrences can happen all the time in medicine and that very precise statements from the movie don't matter because the character can just have gotten it wrong by over 10x and the movie does not acknowledge it at all, well, that's a very respectable opinion; mine is that fiction (a whodunnit, not a slasher flick with a killer surviving multiple gunshots and the like) is not reality and it should respond to higher standards than "I guess she was still alive somehow."

Sammo Premium member

I re-watched the movie to verify that Fran was given an appointment at 8 AM. I discovered something new: The bottle that was injected to Fran contained only 5 mg of Morphine. That's 1/20th of what was "supposedly" given to Thrombey Sr. So, yeah, 10x is OK. In fact, 20x is OK.

FleetCommand

No, no; it contains 5 mg of morphine PER ml, it's the concentration, not the total. Go back to the scene when Marta "messes up", the vials are the exact same as the one that Ransom injects (obviously, since they come from Marta's bag after all). It's new for you but I covered that already in the Factual Error about it. It's something that piles upon a previous mistake. She did not give him 100 mg of morphine because it would have emptied the vial (which is more than half full) and because a full vial of ketorlac would have killed Trombe regardless, at that concentration! The movie gets both the props and the medical facts wrong (100 mg of morphine does not even kill most patients, Harlan would have not died in 10 minutes especially since he takes safely big doses of toradol and morphine), but nothing - in the script - says that Marta or Ransom got basic medical facts wrong.

Sammo Premium member

Okay! It seems mistake after mistake is piling up. Now, it appears Fran lived 4 hours, during 2 of which she was unattended. Plus, 100 mg of Morphine from a 5 mg/ml vial amounts to 20 ml of liquid. Well, now, everything you say makes sense... or at least most of the things. On the whole, I think it was a complicated situation.

FleetCommand

More mistakes in Knives Out

Benoit Blanc: I suspect foul play. I have eliminated no suspects.

More quotes from Knives Out

Trivia: Joseph Gordon-Levitt cameos, at least his voice - he's heard on the TV show Marta's sister is watching. He's a frequent collaborator with director Rian Johnson.

More trivia for Knives Out

Question: How come Ransom did not realise that Marta had not given Harlan the morphine when he went back to the study room to switch the evidence?

Answer: She didn't drain either of the vials so unless he actually measured how much of each liquid there was to start with, he was unlikely to notice that the amounts weren't quite what would have expected. He knew enough to know that the switch could lead to a death, but he's not anal enough to note every tiny aspect of the situation to verify that nothing's gone wrong.

Garlonuss Premium member

More questions & answers from Knives Out

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