Without a Clue (1988)

PG   |    |  Comedy, Crime, Mystery


Without a Clue (1988) Poster

A drunken Sherlock Holmes is really just a cover for the real detective, Dr. Watson.

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7/10
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  • Lysette Anthony in Without a Clue (1988)
  • Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley in Without a Clue (1988)
  • Michael Caine in Without a Clue (1988)
  • Ben Kingsley in Without a Clue (1988)
  • Michael Caine in Without a Clue (1988)
  • Ben Kingsley in Without a Clue (1988)

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16 March 2002 | bob the moo
Funny (but not hilarious) spoof of the legend – made twice as good as it should be by the two leads.
Sherlock Holmes is the greatest detective to live. Unfortunately he is only a creation of Dr Watson who is the true great detective. Forced to give life to his creation Watson hires actor Reginald Kincaid to play the part in real life. However when the pair are asked to investigate the theft of £5 note printing plates they find themselves up against Moriarty and in greater danger than they expected.

It sounds like a terrible idea – other films that have messed with the Holmes story have not done well – but this comes off quite nicely. The switch of characters is funny in itself and there are plenty of nice jokes and set pieces. The plot itself is full of holes and never grips as a mystery for one minute - but it is more than sufficient to support a comedy spoof. The real enjoyment comes not from the plot however but from another factor.

The two main actors are superb and it's their class that lifts the film well above the material. Caine is excellent and is visibly enjoying himself while Kingsley also looks at ease with his co-star. Support from Jeffrey Jones and Paul Freeman is good, but really the lead duo make the film work so well.

Overall, it is not a good mystery and it is not what you'd call hilarious – but the casting helps raise the bar a bit to create an enjoyable lightweight film.

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