It's Not Just A Game Anymore.
Charming movies are something I like, and this one here is certainly fitting into that category. With humor ranging from slapstick to some levels of more adult humor, it never ceases to keep you amused at the on screen antics. Heck, it even has some notable actors in it, such as Christopher Lloyd, Tim Curry, and Eileen Brennan. Easy to follow, safe for the entire family, and more quotable then your standard explosion-laden action flick, the only reason you might not have seen this one is because you aren't old enough!
The plot here is well known to anyone who has ever happened to play a game of Clue before (on which this entire movie is based in the first place). It's a bit more thought out in it's movie form - giving intent and reason behind the gathering of individuals and execution of the murders, but still very much falls under the umbrella of "who done it." Very little time is wasted in setting up characters initially, and the movie leads with a sense of humor that will get you ready for the mostly whimsical plot to follow. In a sense, it boils down to this: All the attendees receive a letter from a "Mr. Boddy" giving each a surrogate name for the evening, and when finally there it is revealed they have all been summoned to address the matter of Mr Boddy blackmailing them. It is at this point that the movie becomes a murder mystery, and the audience gets taken on a lighthearted ride of intrigue and rather cheap thrills.
Each character remarkably feels like an individual, from outfits to general ways of reacting to things. As far as said outfits go, the more noticeable deviations from average appear with the ladies dresses, which are rather elaborate and frankly something a bit of a lost art. Lines are delivered very well, attaching itself to the characters, and even when one should be rather dull in delivery it still feels as though it fits the character who delivers it. It's quite true that the characters can be a bit over the top at times as well, but it's something intended in a movie of this type, and helps with the comedy delivery.
The set is certainly a place I would love to live, albeit not have to clean. The rather large mansion is home to all manner of pleasant chandeliers, large books, and rich woods that really helps elaborate that whoever owns this house isn't in any trouble as far as money is concerned. Wait, that's not all! Hidden passages, and rooms straight lifted from the board game as well (such as the library, the study, and the kitchen) all exist, making it quite the cozy experience for anyone while having an added bonus to fans of the board game itself. It's a pleasant blend of keeping the movie self-contained without excluding bonus material for fans that sometimes get's looked over with the modern audience when they demand things of movies these days.
If there is a single major drawback to the movie, its that you will be watching the same 6 or so people in the same 5 or so rooms for the vast 95% of this movie. Although it helps you get a feel for the characters, and the plot and comedy are all intact throughout, some people may feel it get a bit stale when they don't get a change of scenery - thankfully I myself am not one of those people. The ending even pulls a bit of a reverse foreshadowing, in which the butler sums up the entire movie in quick succession as he barrels head-first into telling the audience just who it is that he "knows" did it. It's a bit unnecessary if you followed along the movie, but they thankfully added in extra segments of humor to go along with it, so it doesn't end up feeling like they are beating you over the head with the plot and events of the entire film. Also of note, the film technically has three endings, the first two being played off as "This is what could have happened," once again making references to the game where it's possible for a player to make a completely incorrect guess and allow the other players to keep guessing.
I'd love to get into the movie in more depth, but really there isn't much of a need for it (I feel). If you like to laugh, but prefer something a bit more wholesome to Jackass or less brain-insulting than Superbad, then it's certainly a great film. If you despise laughter and merriment in every way shape and form, then obviously you should steer away from this one. It actually functions quite well as a mystery as well, and some might even be surprised by the ending (that is, the actual ending, and not one of the two "could haves"). You can thank me later for telling you to go watch it.