Friday, February 15, 2008

Reel Resurrection: Clue

For this new feature, we write about older movies no one talks about anymore, but should.

Movies based on video games are notoriously awful, and it would stand to reason that movies based on board games are even worse. Well, I’m not sure if Shoots and Ladders: The Movie! ever got off the ground, but I was recently introduced the 1985 film Clue, and I gotta say – it’s not half bad.

I don’t think most film critics agree with me. I think it got roundly panned. Whatevs. Director Jonathan Lynn and writer John Landis did a pretty good job of bringing a literally two-dimensional concept into a tight little movie, eeking an actual plot out of billiard rooms, candlesticks and a dead Mr. Boddy.

While Clue has a decent script that can entertain both kids (the people who were probably most interesting in seeing this) and adults, and it has tight pacing, the element that really pulls it through and makes it fun to watch is the cast. Tim Curry is his usual amazing self (I will not rest until he gets a retroactive Best Actor Oscar for the Rocky Horror Picture Show) and comedy greats Madeline Kahn, Michael McKean and Christopher Lloyd all bring it too. Them and the rest of cast are all perfectly campy without being self-indulgent, and do their darndest to turn Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Prof. Plum, et al into actual characters.

Clue does not deserve any retroactive Oscars; I’m not going to argue that. But it doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of the bargain VHS bin at your local Blockbuster’s going-out-of-business sale either. It’s like a really fun mystery dinner theatre production (if those actually exist) except on film and starring some fairly famous people. Tomb Raider could have learned something from it.


Red said...

I have seen Clue, probably, 500 times. It is one of my all time favorites. When I was a kid, I wanted to grow-up to be Leslie Anne Warren's Ms. Scarlett. I love everything about it...Tim Curry, a sexy Colleen Camp (who has, frankly, let herself go), the three endings (I understand in the theatrical release you got one of the three endings...which is kinda cool).

Way to bring back good memories!

Dave H said...

What a great post, this movie is awesome.

Tim Curry was, indeed, Oscar worthy.

Falwless said...

I would have never considered this movie to rent until now. Thanks Liz!