Written and Directed by Jonathan Lynn. Also written by John Landis (story). Starring Eileen Brennan (Mrs. Peacock), Tim Curry (Wadsworth), Christopher Lloyd (Professor Plum), and Madeline Kahn (Mrs. White).
Bottom line: Clue is one of the best movies based on a board game...
For those who have not had the pleasure of playing the board game Clue, let me give a brief overview. A body was found in a mansion. The players have to explore the mansion, picking up clues along the way, and determine the identity of the murderer (Professor Plum, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, etc.), the murder weapon (gun, knife, candlestick, etc.) and where the murder took place (library, study, kitchen, etc.).
We open to a dark night, as a car approaches a mansion. A butler named Wadsworth (Curry) steps out of the car and throws some bones to two large guard dogs. He starts to head inside but then stops, slowly looks down towards his shoe and then to the dogs with irritation. He stepped in dog poop. That’s comedy gold, am-I-right? Now, we slowly but surely meet the rest of the cast who are given aliases to protect their identity. Wadsworth had summoned the group together to confront Mr. Body, who had been blackmailing each of the characters. Mr. Body responds by giving each character a weapon (the same ones from the game) and states that unless someone kills Wadsworth, their secrets will be exposed. Someone is murdered and the characters have to find out who did it, where and with what. The movie is a perfectly adequate adaptation of the elements of the game.
Normally, I’m not the biggest fan of silly humor and Clue is pretty darn silly. Like having Wadsworth step in dog poop and then having each of the characters smell the air and check their shoes when he is around. But, for some reason, I don’t mind it here. That is, I don’t mind it as much as I normally would. Maybe I give it some slack because it’s based off of a board game. It doesn’t take itself too seriously like some board game-based movies- I’m lookin’ at you, Battleship. Maybe it fills my goofy comedy quota. In any case, because of the type of humor (even though I let it slide) Clue is one of those movies that I can only really see once every couple years.
I do find some of the 80’s centered jokes amusing though. At some point, someone says, “It’s Hoover on the phone for you.”
“Why would the FBI director be on your phone?”
“He’s on everyone else’s, why should mine be any different?”
Zing! Now, I don’t really know anything about Hoover but I get the idea and it’s kinda funny. You know, as far as it goes.
One of the neat parts about the movie is that when it appeared, one of three endings was played at the theaters. When you watch it now, at the end of the movie, comes a card that reads, “That’s how it could’ve happened. But how about this?” That gives a good indication of the light tone of the movie.
Overall, I’d recommend Clue if you’re in the mood for something silly. I kinda put it in the same family as Austin Powers and I’m sure just about everyone has seen Austin Powers a dozen times. So, if you want that sort of experience but something a little new, check out Clue. Oh and it has Tim Curry and Christopher Lloyd which is pretty cool, you know?