Saturday, August 22, 2009

Clue (1985)

No, I have not lost my mind. Clue is actually far better than it has any right to be, featuring a great script and a cast that is absolutely to die for.

The movie basically follows the idea of the game, 6 strangers are gathered in a mansion and given aliases, and are informed that they are all there because they are being blackmailed by Mr. Boddy. The lights go out, a gun is fired and Mr. Boddy is dead, causing a investigation that leaves even more dead as the film goes on. The film features Tim Curry as Wodsworth, the butler and host of the evening, Martin Mull as Col. Mustard, Michael McKean as Mr. Green, Christopher Lloyd as Prof. Plum, Lesley Anne Warren as Miss Scarlett, Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock and Madeline Kahn as Mrs. White. Of course, the cast is fantastic and they all have a ball with their characters, from Madeline Kahn being a sort of black widow murderess to Professor Plum being a total pervert, everyone has a sharply defined persona that they use to its fullest effect.

Tim Curry deserves a lot for grounding the film with his deadpan humor, being the perfect counterpoint to the crazy cast of characters, while everyone else is bickering, he's actually trying to solve the murder.

The script itself is smart and a throwback to old-fashioned murder mysteries of the day, it takes advantages of the absurdity of the situation and elevates it until the characters themselves become outrageous and over the top, right up until the denouement/re-enactment that leads the group running from room to room. There are several quotable lines such as "Well, it's a matter of life after death. Now that he's dead, I have a life. ", as well as a lot of funny dialogue between the characters.

The film is very fun and entertaining, and it really stands up to multiple viewings. While it's not a great film that will join the pantheon of Casablanca or All About Eve, it's a solid, fun film which is something you would never expect from a movie based on a board game.

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