Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review – Clue (1985)

"I am a singing telegram."

Jonathan Lynn
Starring: Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Martin Mull
Screenplay: John Landis, Jonathan Lynn

While I was watching Clue (yes based off the board game) I realized how much I miss the big movies with numerous stars. Cannonball Run, Rat Race, Oceans 11 (both of them), all just have an enjoyable atmosphere of seeing all these big names or awesome comedians come together to make an enjoyable film. Watching Clue I even thought to myself how great it would be if they remade this with a new slew of actors. Maybe keep Tim Curry as the butler. But you don’t see this type of movie much anymore and done well. But I can feel myself heading towards a rant so I shall stop myself and get on with the more important things of reviewing this movie.

So the plot actually has a lot of background to it, which is kind of weird for an ensemble comedy, but then again it’s needed for the murder mystery elements. Basically though six guests are invited to have dinner with a gentleman by the name of Mr Body, however all is not as it seems and when someone is murdered the culprit must be discovered before the police arrive.

The sheer panic that his story creates, allows the characters themselves to become unhinged and almost united in a glorious comedic mob mentality. Some of the joy of this movie is when characters answer I unison, or repeat lines that others have said previously. It allows for some great chemistry and because of this I have trouble really picking out actors and actresses to highlight as they are working as a whole. If I had to pick one character that just charmed the pants off me (p.s I want my pants back), it would have to be Tim Curry as the Butler. Super insane yet he is running the show to speak it’s a great role to really chow down on. His parlor scene at the end of the movie is just the best and reminds me a little of Nathan Lane having to run through everything at the end of The Producers.

Look wise the movie is simple; you just know that this is the house we are supposed to imagine when we play Clue. Keeping it confined also means the audience will not concentrate on the world and more on the characters which is essential to get the full enjoyment out of this movie. Jonathan Lynn in that respect keeps thing pretty standard and allowing for the actors to do the brunt of the work. Sure it sounds cruel but you should always go with your strengths. Speaking of strengths, the dialogue of this movie is sharp, fast and makes me laugh, chuckle and guffaw. I was delighted with the type of back and forth between the characters.

Negative wise the only thing that comes to mind is that this movie may not be everyone’s cup of tea. Unless you like fast paced dialogue then you may find yourself bored. There is slapstick but not wall to wall, and the ending while I loved it might piss some people off. Plus the humor seems to come from both the low and high end of the spectrum so people might have a hard time settling into one frame of mind. Also I hate to say this but the cast might not be big enough for some people. Sure the point of an ensemble movie like this is to be able to see big names come together. To me it’s not really a problem at all but in an effort to try and cover all problems people might have I thought I should just point this out.

If you are after a funny movie you could do a hell of a lot worse than clue. If you are after a movie with actors gelling and creating just funny chemistry you should take a look. Finally if you love rapid back and forth dialogue, then you need to watch Clue. Oh and if you don’t Tim Curry will dress up as Pennywise and terrorize you.

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