Clue (1985) is a colourful cinematic remake of the murder mystery game Cludo. It inhabits some of the games charms, but because of this it rather sets itself up to be an almighty cliche, which I might add, it is. Clue attempts to weave together both slap stick comedy (without even a hint of subtlety) and murder. The film almost succeeds in doing this, but I feel for this to have worked, the jokes would have needed to have been funny.
Clue tells the story of a number of blackmail victims, and how they are brought together with their blackmailer (Mr body). Mr Body is within moments of his appearance promptly murdered by a un-known killer: leaving all the blackmail victims in a rather unattractive position. Due to this many inexplicable deaths occur. All of this happens in the setting of an aged house atop a hill, while a thunder storm raged outside. Remember what I said about cliches?
Despite the fact that the script left so much to be desired the cast was impressive. Tim Curry (the butler), Eileen Brennan (Mrs Peacock), Lesley Ann Warren (Miss Scarlet). Irrespective for the quality of the writing, these actors did give an excellent performance. Adding a little sparkle to the film.
From a technical perspective Clue as a piece of cinematic work is not too spectacular. Camera work seems to be fairly basic. And there is an utter absence of special affects. Although, having said that, Clue does not require apparent special affects or complex camera work to carry itself off. What it really needed was a good screen play. We have John Landis (writer) and Jonathan Lynn (screen play writer) to blame for the lack of this.
Towards the end of this film (instead of being on the edge of your seat, as you would hope for a murder mystery) you find yourself blankly staring at the screen in distaste; disappointment washing over you. Although you do feel slightly curious about how the film will resolve. There is quite a build up towards who did it, and you feel a sense of intrigue creeping over you. I don’t know for certain whether or not this is just because you want the film to end, and an excuse to stop watching. Or if it’s a genuine want to know how it ends.
If that is so, then John Landis and Jonathan Lynn did have one very good idea. When you buy the DVD it comes with three possible endings. All depicting different ways the film could have ended. And as you watch them you wonder if the film was made knowingly, and the incredible shocking cliches, and breathtakingly cheesy jokes where put in on purpose, so as to make it almost a spoof of itself.
Considering this, its a pity that this was not more evident thoughout the film, and also that this idea wasn’t actually funny, nor clever. If it had been the film would have had quite an enjoyable edge to it.
Finally I conclude that I would enjoy carrying on with this rant on how bad Clue is. But I am sure I have already dissuaded you from watching this cinematic disaster. So I feel any further slandering is unnecessary.