Kenneth Branagh has begun to desecrate the memory of Agatha Christie. I yawned through his cinematic rendition of Murder on the Orient Express, skipped Death on the Nile due to awful online feedback, and only went to A Haunting in Venice because a movie club mandated it. I wish I had called in sick. Branagh himself displays no enthusiasm for his lead role of Hercule Poirot and the other actors, even such usually reliable performers as Michelle Yeoh and Jamie Doran, are limp in the grip of a clunky script. Venice as a setting is wasted, with most of the 103 minutes spent immersed in a gloomy storm, and the music is a weak reed. The Christie plot is perfectly serviceable, with a fine climactic twist, but is swamped by the mediocrity of its telling. Woeful.