In the West End of 1950s London, plans for a movie version of a smash-hit play come to an abrupt halt after a pivotal member of the crew is murdered. When world-weary Inspector Stoppard and eager rookie Constable Stalker take on the case, the two find themselves thrown into a puzzling whodunit within the glamorously sordid theater underground, investigating the mysterious homicide at their own peril.
The monster success of 2019’s “Knives Out” was sure to stir interest in the return of the big screen mystery movie. “See How They Run” hopes to ride a trend with its own take on the ways of Agatha Christie, this time involving the author in a different way. The screenplay by Mark Chappell looks to restore some period activity to a classic Christie whodunit, returning audiences to post-war London, which is prime setting for cinematic troublemaking. The material launches as something of a comedy, having fun with its assortment of fussy characters and secret motivations. “See How They Run” doesn’t remain spirited for long, with director Tom George endeavoring to shape a substantial tale of criminal activity while still tending to a rapidly diminishing sense of playfulness. It’s a handsome feature with lively performances, but George can’t get the film off the ground at times.