My Unpopular Opinion About Knives Out

Everyone loves Knives Out.

I think that’s what the latest social media advertisements are telling me. There was an animated graphic that showed the Rotten Tomatoes fresh-counter going all the way up towards 100%, although it never actually got to 100%, but I think that what the Lionsgate marketing team wanted me to think was that this movie is eventually going to get to 100% despite the fact that once you’re not at 100% you can never get to 100%, but who really thinks about that when they’re watching a percentage meter climbing all the way to 100% in an animated, colorful, music-enhanced digital window?

Knives Out is one of the best movies of the year.

Some people have said that. That’s what the commercial I saw told me I should think. Many people, of whom I don’t know, all said it was one of the best movies of the year, with twists and turns the likes of which any normal human being would never see coming. Someone said that this is like a movie version of the Choose Your Own Adventure books, specifically one about a dude named Thromby. Forget about Murder She Wrote and Angela Lansbury, this is a new generation of Who Done It, far better than the three-ending version of Clue that tanked in theaters decades ago.

But again, who even knows who Angela Lansbury is, and who reads books any more anyway?

Knives Out is a “dazzling whodunit in the vein of Agatha Christie,” Joe Morgenstern from the Wall Street Journal said, somewhere, in some article on some website before being printed in a newspaper that, again, people aren’t probably reading because of that whole newsprint on your fingertips thing.

I know people. People who I consider friends. People who I consider family. People who work in the entertainment industry as creative executives and journalists and bloggers and tastemakers and luminaries and bon vivants. They love this movie. They have bought into it as the second coming. They would wear a t-shirt saying “Knives Out is Out of this World!” if Hot Topic made them. They have screamed from the rooftops about how the twists are insanely amazing, and they never saw them coming, and OMG the humor was out of this world.

Knives Out ain’t all they’re saying.

I don’t mind being unpopular. I was unpopular for all four years of high school and all five years of college. Perhaps it was because I often said what was on my mind instead of saying the things people wished I would say instead. But Knives Out is a very simple mystery, with very little mystery at its center. It is like eating a Tootsie Roll Pop and there being no Tootsie Roll at the center of the cherry candy. You keep waiting for something surprising to happen, when in fact, the only surprising thing is that there is no surprising thing happening throughout this entire movie. Except for maybe Daniel Craig’s accent. This is the first time in a movie that Daniel Craig has tried an accent that has worked, and it has slightly, just barely erased the trauma caused by his accent in that godawful movie Logan Lucky.

Without spoiling the plot details, although there really aren’t that many plot details to spoil…someone kills someone. Or causes them to die. That’s not a detail anyone can debate. Then someone’s expectation of how the death occurred is challenged, when in reality, there’s some major Three’s Company plot business going on here with one person thinking they did X, when they actually did Y, and then someone overheard Z and someone else thought they overheard J. Then there’s some running around, some mugging for the camera, and a few face slaps.

Knives Out is like a slap to the face.

That’s how I felt. I don’t care that it’s almost, barely, maybe soon, going to be 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. I don’t care that Moira Macdonald from the Seattle Times counted herself “delighted” by the whole endeavor. It’s fine. Ok? It’s just fine. It’s nothing that’s going to change the world, be remembered twenty years from now, or displace How to Lose A Guy in 10 Days as the best comedy of civilized history.

And that may be an unpopular opinion.

But fuck it.

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