Branagh was clearly trying to distinguish this film from its predecessor with this minimalist take.  A better way of doing that would have been to move away from the confines of the stage play and add some humanity.  A scene with Wyke’s wife, for example (who is never shown, except in a brief photo), or a scene outside the house, showing Tindle or Wyke interacting with other characters, would have gone a long way toward creating depth and accessibility.  A flashback or two would have done the same thing.  Instead, we’re treated to a dispassionate discourse, and in the end, we don’t care what happens.

Sometimes, clearly, it’s best to leave well enough alone.

DVD EXTRAS:

  • Commentaries with director Kenneth Branagh, Michael Caine and Jude Law
  • “A Game of Cat and Mouse:  Behind the Scenes of Sleuth
  • Inspector Black:  Make-up Secrets Revealed

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol:  Characters drink alcohol throughout film.
  • Language/Profanity:  Obscenities and profanities, some strong, throughout film.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity:  Sexual references and innuendo throughout film, including crude and/or suggestive slang and an extended scene involving a homosexual theme.
  • Violence:  Characters fight threaten one another with gun and knife, several instances of mortal danger; two scenes in which a character is shot and killed.