All The Old Knives begins in 2012, where Flight 127 is grounded on the tarmac at the airport, because terrorists have taken over the plane, and are threatening to kill everyone on it, in addition to the individual we first see being led away, bleeding.
Fast-forward to the present day (well, it was filmed in 2020), and it turns out it could’ve been an inside job, but who did the deed?
The man leading the investigation is Henry Pelham (Chris Pine), who fancied Celia Harrison (Thandiwe Newton – nowadays using her real middle name, rather than her usual variation, Thandie) at the time, leading to them having a thing together, but could she have been involved? Either way, he has to go and meet with her after all this time and investigate, but why would you let the man who’s emotionally involved do this? One of those daft movie plot-holes, I guess… then again, this was also released as a novel, so one of those books suitable for a beach read, rather than the Booker prize?
With a bit of zooming back and forth in time between 2012 and 2020 – and slight extras inbetween, this is one of those tales where everyone’s looking guilty – including old hand Bill Compton (Jonathan Pryce), plus with suspects dying in mysterious circumstances. In addition, we go back to 2012, and see them trying to figure out how to take control of the plane safely, without further loss of life beyond the initial casualty who we saw at the start.
So, this is a cloak and dagger situation as they try to find a mole, but it does get rather distracting when everyone pronounces Moscow as “Mos-COW”; and I thought Jonathan Pryce’s character was meant to be English (since that’s what he always plays), but I detected a slight, occasional American accent in there.
Oddly, there’s a brief, underground scene where Chris Pine is talking to a man in another language, with English subtitles, and CGI snow falls around them from one angle, but is completely absent from the other angle.
Oh, and there’s a lot of mumbling, and I didn’t have subtitles on the preview I saw.
Despite the relatively brief running time – compared to a lot of movies these days – All The Old Knives still feels like it takes twice as long as it needs to. It does, at least, attempt to have an ending, but it takes way too long to get there.
Thanks to our friends at Prime Video for the screener prior to release.
All The Old Knives is on Amazon Prime Video from Friday April 8th, but the film isn’t yet available to pre-order on Blu-ray or DVD.
Running time: 101 minutes
Release date: April 8th 2022
Studio: Amazon Prime Video
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Director: Janus Metz
Producers: Mark Gordon, Matt Jackson, Paula Mae Schwartz, Steve Schwartz, Nick Wechsler
Screenplay/Novel: Olen Steinhauer
Music: Jon Ekstrand, Rebekka Karijord
Henry Pelham: Chris Pine
Celia Harrison: Thandiwe Newton
Vick Wallinger: Laurence Fishburne
Bill Compton: Jonathan Pryce
Karl Stein: Corey Johnson
Ernst Pul: Jonjo O’Neill
Leila Maloof: Ahd
Owen Lassiter: David Dawson
Mohammed Dudayev: Nasser Memarzia
Ilyas Shushani: Orli Shuka
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.