Dave White
Sleuth Review

Dave's Rating:


… Caine eats Law for breakfast …

The Basics: The young guy (Law) has been doing it with the superrich older guy's (Caine) wife, and now he wants Caine to grant the lady a divorce. What Caine does instead is institute a cat and mouse game of robbery and fake-outs and a lot of other stuff that I can't tell you about or else the whole thing will dissolve. And it wouldn't be like spoiling a remake like Poseidon where everyone knows what happens. This is a remake of a movie that barely gets seen these days, so plenty of people will be coming to it fresh.

What's the Deal? Caine played the young guy in the original Sleuth of the '70s. And at the time, it was sort of a way to bring an old-fashioned Agatha Christie-style mystery into a more modern setting. So, I guess an attempt to update the update is a worthwhile cause. Except for the part where Caine eats Law for breakfast, and what was a fair fight between Caine and Laurence Olivier back in the day is now like Bambi vs. Godzilla.

And Now Suddenly They're Both Gay: In this version, a totally unexpected homoerotic subtext turns into full-on text as the two men all but do that thing where guys pretend to kiss by pressing their lips to hands held over each other's mouths. It's probably meant to be a metaphor for the sexual jockeying and competition the two men are engaging in over the same woman. But post-Brokeback Mountain, I think most audiences can now see what this sort of thing really is: cruising.

What's Cool: The interiors. In the old movie, Olivier's house was comfortably full of games and puzzles and weird stuff. Here, Caine lives in a severe, minimalist black box that sort of defies humans to stick around for anything longer than a puzzled tour.

See It With: The original Sleuth. And then go watch Murder on the Orient Express. Also Murder by Death. That one's my real favorite.


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