By DYLAN GOWAN.
This week I harnessed the powers of the internet to pick a random movie from the 80’s. In its wisdom, the internet chose the 1985 mystery comedy Clue, which is based on the board game Cluedo.
That’s right, toy and board game adaptations didn’t start with Micheal Bay.
Clue is a dark comedy set in the 1950’s, that sees the well-known characters of the board game invited to a mystery dinner party at the behest of a mystery host. The guests don’t know each other but it turns out they have one thing in common; they are all being blackmailed by one Mr Body.
After Mr Body gives each guest one weapon from the game to kill Wadsworth the butler (who invited them all to put an end to the blackmail) he turns off the lights, only to end up murdered himself. This marks the first in a string of murders as the guests become more and more paranoid and distrusting of each other.
Clue is quite a different beast from the comedies of today.
While today they tend to have quite high production values and to contain a lot of ‘gross out’ moments, Clue is a classic ensemble comedy that takes place solely in a giant mansion. It relies on a lot of physical comedy and witty banter, like many comedies of earlier eras.
It also employs quite a dry humour (the best kind of humour) so don’t expect many laugh-out-loud moments, but do expect to be entertained.
Some of the best comedy comes from Wadsworth, played by Tim Curry, who gets to deliver some of the best lines as well as some stinging critiques of capitalism. You might be mistaken for thinking that Wadsworth had eaten Nigel Thornberry. That’s because Tim Curry went on to do his voice in The Wild Thornberrys. There is something quite satisfying in hearing Nigel Thornberry say some of the things Wadsworth gets to say.
Christopher Lloyd’s performance is also a standout.
The film is not without its faults, though. It tends to feel like a play rather than a film, as the acting doesn’t seem very realistic. Whether or not this comes down simply to its age, I’m not sure.
Also, as the film progresses it drags on a bit, but thankfully it is saved by its ending, or should I say endings.
In a call back to the game it is based on, the film offers three different endings, with three different murderers, with all three scenarios making perfect sense. It’s a clever and unique way to end the film and lets it finish on a high.
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