Hollywood will look anywhere for inspiration. For those that are complaining that the industry has run out of ideas and only resorts to rehashing and remaking, don’t be so shocked. Truth to be told, this has been happening ever since movies have debut. Even at the beginning of the studio days, it has been competitive to have the next big thing. A lot of the earliest movies were adaptations of stories. So if the talented minds can bring new life to literature, then who ever said we cant do this to other sources. I’m fine with that as long as their letting the audience know about a story that they deserve to hear about.
I’m very supportive of those that look to the most unlikely of sources to find the next adventure to send the world on. Poems have been an interesting source with movies like Troy, The Raven and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Argo, Almost Famous and Saturday Night Fever are considered movies based off of magazine articles. Though done poorly, Super Mario Bros., Street Fighter, and Max Payne were based off of video games. So, it should come as no surprise that Hollywood would wanna look into the world of toys for a movie. So this is going to lead to a surprisingly good movie based off of the board game, Clue.
Most of us have played this game; we all solve a classic “whodunit” murder by taking turns on the dice to get into rooms to collect clues. What’s interesting is that unlike Battleship that had to come up with a plot from scratch, Clue already has a story; a group of people that are accused of murdering a man and trying to figure out who did it. So the writer of this movie simply had to build depth to make this a believable, but still fun scenario.
What we have here is a more adult choice use of cold war, political backgrounds for the mystery. All set in 1954, six strangers are invited to a New England Mansion for dinner. The house butler, Wadsworth (played by Tim Curry) greets Professor Plum, Mrs. Peacock, Mrs. White, Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, and Mr. Green as they arrive. The last guest, Mr. Boddy, is a man who has been blackmailing them all. When confronted, he hands each person a weapon (rope, knife, wrench, candlestick, lead pipe, and a revolver) to do away the butler so they can forget this and return to their lives. But when the lights are dimmed, someone takes the chance to kill Mr. Boddy. His body shows no signs of a particular weapon. As more random strangers are killed, the group takes it upon themselves to figure out who killed who, with what, and where in the house.
I remember watching this one as a kid a lot. I think it’s because I was really into the novelty of the fact that I was watching a movie based off a board game. I didn’t really care for the actually mystery, because I always found the movie to be funny. Looking back at it now, it still holds up well.
Clue knows that the only way to work is to make itself a satire. What I got here is something that reminds me of The Rocky Horror Picture Show; it’s more or less a series of gags in a very simplistic murder mystery scenario. They take full advantage of the house, the weapons all play a part (so it’s not just a one second reference), and most of the characters get a good scene that shows how despicable they are. What I realize now is that the background itself could have been a tad more interesting. I never cared for it then, and I don’t car for it now. But it’s not for long, as the movie turns into a comedy very fast.
I’ll give this four and a half Clue board games out of five. This is probably the best movie out of a board game were ever going to see. This is a hilarious send up to those cheap murder mystery theater shows and every dollar store detective story. You could say that Clue has fun with it’s own game.