Cinema: A Late Bloomer from the Mulch

A Late Bloomer from the Mulch

The film is nine-tenths exposition. Has to be, since there can be no easy (or convincing) explanation of how a 1940s murder mystery finally gets resolved, with a little help from reincarnation, in the '90s. Yet despite all that boring talk, DEAD AGAIN is a hit, the late-blooming rose of a movie summer that was mostly mulch. How come? Well, as a director, Kenneth Branagh is all distracting bustle, briskly shooing us past his picture's many dubious moments. As an actor he gives a flashy performance -- two accents, neither of which is native to him -- in a dual role....

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