Top critical review
Murder Can Be Fun
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 February 2021
Based on the game that we call in this country Cluedo, so this is a fun little film with an ensemble cast of well-known faces. This did not do that well at the box office, and indeed received a very mixed bag when it came to reviews, however since then this has gone on to become something of a cult movie, because although not great in any way or form, this is funny and more than enjoyable enough.
It is 1954 and a group of people meet at an old mansion in New England. All of these persons have been invited by a mystery host and all are told to adopt a certain identity, such as in the board game, and thus not knowing each other we see what will happen next. An ideal opening as such for a country house type murder mystery. We know that this is going to be played for laughs the moment we see Tim Curry, who plays Wadsworth the butler step into some doggy doo, and the dog gives him a look.
Whilst there are some good one-liners and other puns that work, as well as references to other murder mystery books and films in the genre, it has to be admitted that at times the jokes become a bit scattergun in approach, and so there are some that just drop dead on their faces. You do at times also get a certain feeling of frustration from the cast as they are not used to their full potential, with a certain repetition of jokes and a not very strongly plotted script. This leads us as viewers to although laugh at times, also at other periods to want to pull our hair out as it all becomes a bit messy.
This edition does give us the three alternate endings so that is a bonus, as those who originally saw the film at the cinema only saw one of these endings, whichever one had been given to the cinema. As such, this came up on my recommendations list on this site, and I have seen this a few times in the past anyway, so I knew that this was far from brilliant, but more than entertaining enough to pass an hour and a half or so of good enough comedy. To be honest some of the gags here are quite stale, being presented before to us in other films over the years before this was made, and thus we know what is going to happen, and there is just no way that the cast can make these look fresher.