RICHARD CROUSE

REVIEW: No Clue

Posted By: Richard Crouse · 3/7/2014 12:00:00 AM

“No Clue,” a new film from “Corner Gas” star Brent Butt may be the most Canadian murder mystery ever made.

The story of Leo, (Butt) a bumbling Vancouver tchotchke salesman lured into investigating a crime by a femme fatale played by Amy Smart, is a mildest mannered murder mystery since “Mysteriously Yours” started serving up main courses with mayhem.

The movie begins with Leo taking a meeting with Kyra (Smart). At first he thinks she’s a client for his doohickey business but soon realizes she’s wandered into his office instead of the private detective agency across the hall.

As she tells him the story of her brother’s disappearance he becomes enamored of her and plays along, agreeing to take the case despite his total lack of Sam Spade experience.

Blundering his way through the case he soon learns there is more to Kyra than a pretty face and crocodile tears for her brother.

There isn’t a lot of grit to “No Clue.” It grafts a sitcom premise to a “Columbo” episode, relying on the comedy to sell the story. Butt and David Koechner go for laughs, while the rest of the cast—Smart, David Cubitt and Dustin Milligan—play it straight.

It’s kind of an odd mix. Movies like “Fletch,” “High Anxiety” and “Foul Play” have walked this path before but each of those had more edge. “No Clue” is an amiable attempt at mixing and matching film noir and gags, but feels more like a Halloween episode of “Corner Gas” where "Hank" Yarbo mysteriously disappears after a wild weekend in Carrot River, Saskatchewan.

Butt is a likeable performer, the same likeable performer who was the cornerstone of “Corner Gas” for six seasons. He brings the folksy charm that kept that show on the air to the film but he doesn’t fill the big screen in quite the same way he did the TV screen.

2 ½ STARS

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