Without A Clue (1988)

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Without a Clue is an amusing parody of the Sherlock Holmes stories in which the true genius is Ben Kingsley’s Dr. Watson, Holmes being a womanising drunken actor hired to play the part. There’s little here that hasn’t been done before as Conan Doyle’s stories have been pillaged for material ever since they were written, but the comic chemistry between the two talented leads works brilliantly. Michael Caine’s clearly loving every minute of it and in combination with Kingsley’s ever more disdainful and exasperated Watson, they make a great comic partnership. The plot is minimal, feeling like an upmarket Carry On story or the English cousin of Clouseau, but it’s all done with such infectious, knockabout charm it rarely fails to raise a smile. Hardly a world changer, but a pleasant diversion on a rainy afternoon.

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