Let’s see whodunnit.
Since everything is terrible, we decided to watch some old films on Prime this week.
Clue proves that any idea will eventually be turned into a film. The saving grace of this film is that no one took it seriously, and it ends up being entertaining due to the chaos on the screen. However, narrative deficits do hold it back.
The best character, Wadsworth (Tim Curry) carries the show. Without him, this would have been long forgotten as a crappy 80s film. With Curry, it has gained a cult following, as all of his films seem to do. However, this movie is an atrocious whodunnit, which is really the point…
Our film opens with the titular characters arriving before we realize they are all being blackmailed. The blackmailer is killed when the lights go out, and everyone is a suspect. They all had opportunity and motive, so now we must figure out what is going on.
Except, we don’t. There isn’t any real mystery here, but rather a campy comedy put within a mystery set. Does the film work as a comedy? Yeah…mostly? The gags are repeated almost ad-nauseum, and we literally get a recap of the entire film before it is revealed who dunnit (there are three endings). It is odd to think about how much of the film is simply a recap (or an alternate ending) when it only hits 90-minutes. I still think it could be cut by a lot.
The bulk of the film is just circumstantial humor. Some of it is funny, but if we took a list of all the jokes, I imagine most would be a flop. I know that most people don’t consider ratios when examining a comedy, but a lot of this one is just boring. We have folks wandering around as we move from kill to kill. Sometimes the jokes pay off and we get a good laugh, other times it is just a drag until the next scene.
There isn’t much of a plot—at all. Therefore, we must have the recap as the mystery elements don’t make any sense. Further, the fact that three endings can work means that anything could have been the ending. While the multiple endings in different regions is a clever trick, when you see all of them at the end it is easy to see how loosely things are constructed. This is a clever film, but not always a good one.
I think nostalgia draw a lot of people to this one. It is a mediocre comedy and a terrible mystery. Tim Curry is a cool dude, but not everything he did has to be seen as gold. This isn’t one of his best, and really only mega-fans should give this one a view.
I’d say skip it, but I understand if you’re digging at the bottom of the barrel.