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The Globe and Mail

No Clue: mostly flat-footed detective comedy

Amy Smart and Brent Butt star in No Clue.

Diyah Pera/Alliance Atlantis Films

1.5 out of 4 stars

Directed by
Carl Bessai
Starring
Brent Butt
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English

Brent Butt, the star and creator of the CTV series Corner Gas (2004-2009), makes a foray into the movies with No Clue, a mostly flat-footed detective comedy that is all too reflective of its title. The script, starring Butt as an accidental detective, never seems to be sure of its focus.

There are a few elements of the traditional hard-boiled detective genre already well-satirized by Woody Allen's Play it Again, Sam, and a directing style from Carl Besai that feels less film noir than seventies TV cop show, with lots of wicka-chicka guitar lines, gratuitous aerial shots and cross-camera wipes.

Butt plays Leo Falloon, a bumbling middle-aged logo salesman who's so smitten by the mysterious blonde (Amy Smart) who asks him to help find her missing brother, that he neglects to tell her she's in the wrong office. That sets up a long-winded plot about corporate espionage in the video-game world with steely eyed corporate chiefs, an oversized goon, and more exposition than necessary.

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Butt is a decent word-spinner and self-deprecating funny man, but the decision to have the rest of the cast play it straight is a mistake; it's as if he plugged his performance into a weak Law and Order episode. A few scenes of Leo exchanging banter with his buddy Ernie (avid Koechner of The Office and Anchorman), prove more rewarding than the trite murder plot that occupies most of the running time.

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