Sam Rockwell and Saoirse Ronan in the film SEE HOW THEY RUN. Photo by Parisa Taghizadeh. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

Review: “See How They Run” is a medicore who dunit

By: Robert Prentice
Searchlight Wes Anderson

1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When a world-weary inspector and an eager rookie constable take on the case, they find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid world of underground theater, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.

Review

See How They Run plays on a nostalgia comeback in Hollywood for murder mystery films. The story follows a group doing an Agatha Christy story as a stage play that turns into a murder mystery that our two leads Inspector Stoppard (Sam Rockwell) and eager rookie Constable Stalker (Saoirse Ronan) are assigned to resolve. Stoppard is a bumbling mess of an inspector who was assigned to this case to stay out of the big cases so his boss can get a promotion. Stalker is the rookie, a woman that the police department is trying to use as their token proof of progress. She also has a tendency to jump to conclusions, or rather leap over the grand canyon with her conclusions.

It is clear with the all-star cast that includes Adrien Brody, David Oyelowo, and so many more that See How They Run was trying to go the route of a Wes Anderson film. However, it fell way short of that. The story and the characters are neither eccentric enough nor complex enough to reach the heights of such a film as Wes Anderson would make. The story was easy to guess right out of the gate and the twists could be seen miles away.

There was so much more they could have done with the story to amp it up or even keep the audience guessing but it came across as rather plain in all. The characters are also forgettable as well. Rockwells and Stalker’s characters are front and center most of the film, but outside of her jumps to conclusions and his simple-minded actions, neither of them stood out as anything noteworthy after the credits role. That all comes down to writing, as the all-star cast they had wasn’t the issue.

Ultimately See How They Run doesn’t set itself apart from the pack of recent films of this style or storytelling and as such is quickly forgettable.

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