See How They Run Film Review


‘See How They Run’ Poster, via Searchlight Pictures

Kadriana Aliyah Colon, Staff Writer

“See How They Run” is an enjoyable whodunit that pairs an unlikely duo of Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell to solve a violent murder of a Hollywood sleaze. Surprisingly good chemistry between the two leads, several standout performances of the supporting cast, an occasional suspenseful score and a British humored screenplay make “See How They Run” a sight to see. 

Opening with a narration by Adrien Brody about the cliches of murder mysteries lends to a lighthearted and meta sense of humor that is prominent throughout the film. Brody plays a widely disliked American film director, Leo Köpernick, who is murdered during the 100th performance celebration of “The Mousetrap”. A highly esteemed Agatha Christie play, that is almost a character in its own right, due to how often it’s referenced and shown. “See How They Run” focuses on an opposites attract duo trying to solve Köpernicks murder. Ronan plays Constable Stalker who’s quick to jump to conclusions and has a penchant for quoting Katharine Hepburn in “The African Queen.” Often irritating disgruntled Inspector Stoppard, played by Rockwell, an implied alcoholic, whose less than ideal love life later becomes entangled with the case. The pair’s chemistry makes the relationship interesting to watch. Going through multiple ups and downs, a growing camaraderie gradually builds between the two. A surprisingly vulnerable and life sharing moment they have, helps the relationship feel real. Making a betrayal in the last half of the film sting even more. 

One of the standouts of the supporting cast is an exuberant screenwriter, Mervyn Cocker-Norris portrayed by David Oyelowo. Although one of the reasons why he is such a standout is because a majority of the supporting cast have either too little screen time or not very strong characterization. They turn in good performances but they kind of blend into the background. Especially compared to Oyelowo’s character, Cocker-Norriss. The screenwriter’s theatrical nature emphasized with his overinflated ego about his work and flamboyant mannerisms make him a sight to see. His questioning by the Constable and Inspector is one of the best scenes of the movie. Not just because of his performance but the scene mostly made up of flashbacks in which he derides as being lazy storytelling. Same with captions saying “Three Weeks Later” which happens immediately after he says. The scene itself is packed with meta humor, and great foreshadowing of the film’s climax. Brody also turns in an enjoyable performance as a womanizing and unlikable film director. Even though he is a murder victim and dies within the first 10 minutes of the film, he is a recurring character. Brody manages to give Köpernick some humanizing qualities before and especially after his death. He has a humor about himself, is honest about his flaws, an overall charismatic guy who you begin to wish was still alive. A character who has a rather prominent role in the story, yet isn’t a potential victim or suspect is Commissioner Scott. Tim Key delivers comedic timing reminiscent of “Hot Fuzz”. His scenes, all of which are with the duo, have a great sense of British humor. 

A cinema lover will have a bit more fun with this film due to Golden Age of Hollywood references. Icons such as Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Grace Kelly, and Hitchcock are mentioned. Posters of classic Golden Age films like “No Way Out”and “Pandora” are shown in the background of a film producer’s office. Brief imitations done by the endearing Ronan of Hepburn, funny quips about

screenwriting, lots of meta humor towards the whodunit genre and the film as a whole. Makes it very clear that this film is lovingly crafted by someone who admires whodunits and is a fan of Agatha Christie’s work. Overall “See How They Run” is short and sweet murder mystery that whodunnit fans should flock to.