There is something wrong
with this film. I noticed it at the beginning of the film,
and it carried itself with me throughout the remainder of this
crime comedy directed by Chris Ver Wiel. "Who Is Cletis
Tout?" is the title of the film, which is also the question
pondered by some of the characters in this picture.
film opens with Critical Jim (Tim Allen) pointing a gun at whom he
believes to be a man named Cletis Tout, a gentleman the mob would
like to see removed from this realm. The assumed Cletis
(Christian Slater) reveals himself to actually be a man named
Trevor Finch. There, with Allen holding a gun to his head,
Trevor/Cletis begins telling the story that eventually lead to his
being mistaken for Tout. The story involves his escaping
from prison with jewel thief named Micah (Richard Dreyfuss),
falling in love with his daughter Tess (Portia de Rossi) and
changing identities to assume the role of Tout. Fairly
complicated plotline indeed, but not too complicated to thoroughly
There were quite a few aspects of this film that I found to be
extremely acceptable. I enjoyed the way Tim Allen quoted
lines from various films, as he plays a hitman movie fanatic.
It seemed that he had a quote for every conversation. I also
enjoyed the way in which Richard Dreyfuss churned out one hell of a
funny performance as the jewel thief--maybe he's stepping back
into the movie industry again, instead of just keeping to
television. Tim Allen was hilarious as Critical Jim, and
Portia de Rossi was beautiful and pitch-perfect as Dreyfuss'
for the bad stuff. "Who Is Cletis Tout?" is the
main question in this film, and we could really care less about
the character of Cletis Tout because he is the least interesting
in the entire flick. Allen, Dreyfuss, and Rossi are
interesting, and it is a shame the film could not have been about
them, instead of such a boring and inconsequential character as
Tout. And, anytime a director throws RuPaul into the mix,
you can bet she/he is going to grab quite a bit of attention.
Also, this script contains plots
from several other films, all woven together to create a mediocre
exercise in crime comedy. Why was Christian Slater cast in
this role? Sure, he is a good actor, but he should not be
this character. I would have liked to have seen someone like
Stanley Tucci take on the role of Tout, or maybe Peter Riegert.
though I found it to have a few splashes of greatness, this is
ultimately a rather unoriginal piece of cinema, sure to be ignored
in theatres, and on video shelves. Some might find it more
entertaining than I did, but from the impression I got at the
theatres when I watched it, that is an unlikely scenario.
"Who Is Cletis Tout?" Who cares.
1 1/2 out of 4 pops )
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