MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS (2020)
Picture Rating (MPAA): Not
Genres: Crime drama/Mystery/Adventure
Cast: Essie Davis, Nathan Page, Miriam Margolyes, Rupert Penry-Jones…
by Cherie Jung
First off, 60 minutes would have been enough.
Unfortunately, this is a feature length film with a too frenzied pace, and a convoluted but essentially thin, weak plot.
Miss Fisher frees a young Bedouin girl from a jail in Jerusalem then becomes involved in the unraveling of a decades old mystery. What follows is a lot of camel riding, desert scenes, rushing about here and there, mostly in the Middle East. A bit of danger crops up from time to time but it doesn’t really feel all that dangerous. The plot is not compelling. There is little to no chemistry between the various characters.
Yes, Phryne is back. So are many of the other beloved characters from the Miss Fisher TV series though several only make cameo appearances, which was very disappointing. While I understand that actors’ schedules sometimes conflict with shooting schedules, I think the film suffers for lack of more substantial roles for the secondary characters from the TV series. I think longtime fans of the TV series will feel cheated.
The pace, at times, was plodding then erupted into a frenzied galloping pace which left me feeling like I was watching a film that might have been better titled, “Miss Fisher Meets Indiana Jones.” I kept half expecting a cameo appearance from Harrison Ford in his guise as Indiana Jones…complete with his trademark Fedora hat, leather jacket, and whip.
I’m not sure who this film will appeal to.
If you liked to play with paper dolls as a kid, you might find Phryne’s frequent wardrobe changes interesting but that still leaves a disjointed plot – something about an ancient curse, treasure, and a suspicious disappearance.
I suspect longtime fans of the Miss Fisher TV series will be disappointed and dissatisfied with MISS FISHER AND THE CRYPT OF TEARS. I know I was.
There are hints that another Miss Fisher movie may be produced in the future (as in “later sometime” not sci-fi “in the future”).
If so, please, tighten up the plot and set the mystery and action in London or Australia. If you feel another desert adventure coming on, please resist!
Oh, wait – maybe they could film “Miss Fisher Meets the Mummy”…
I didn’t hate everything about the movie.
I did enjoy some of the banter between Phryne and Detective Inspector Jack Robinson.
There is a late night scene in the desert. Phryne screams from inside her tent. Jack rushes in. Phryne indicates a tarantula was inside her tent. Jack steps outside and we hear a gunshot. End of the tarantula. Later, Phryne says, “By the way, there wasn’t really a tarantula.” Jack replies, “Good. I didn’t really shoot one.”
Another quip I enjoyed was when Phryne knocked on Jack’s hotel room door and asked, “Jack, are you awake?” and he replied, “No.”
But a few clever verbal exchanges hardly sustain one through a dismal film.
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