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DVD Reviews:  Who Is Cletis Tout

The Final Say!

Feature Score:
DVD Extras Score

Reviewed by Peter Parmac
Distributed by:
Running Time: 89 Minutes

A title that is explained about half way through the story “Who is Cletis Tout” is an enjoyable ride about a case of mistaken identity that leads to tragedy, comedy and true love.  Christian Slater plays the lead role of Finch/Tout in his typical laconic way as we follow him through danger and triumph in this black comedy.

The story is told through a series of flashbacks and real time as we find Finch about to be ‘whacked’ by a notorious hitman Critical Jim played with much relish by Tim Allen.  Jim has a weakness for old Hollywood movies and lets Finch tell him an interesting story that if Jim likes enough might help save his captive.  You see Finch is mistaken for a low life journalist named Cletis Tout who is wanted dead by the local gangster heavies.  Finch then sets out to recite his life story and how he ended up in his current predicament.  Having escaped prison with assistance from a diamond thief Micah, played understatedly by Richard Dreyfuss.  Finch calls up an old friend to create new identities.  The old friend is none other than a morgue autopsy doctor played by Billy Connelly

who gives them recently dead people’s lives, unfortunately for Finch he finds the aforementioned Cletis Tout is wanted moreso than his real identity.  Portia De Rossi plays the romantic interest Tess Donnelly (and daughter of Micah) for Christian Slater.  She has kept in touch with her father during his incarceration by means of carrier pigeon.  After her father is brutally gunned down she and Slater join forces to recover the diamonds that her father had buried.  By story ends Finch wins her love, the stolen diamonds and the protection of Critical Jim.  Singing in the rain makes an appearance, although I must say the use of this song in A Clockwork Orange is a little more harrowing.  Look for Rupaul in a cameo and pray you never meet him/her/it in a dark alley at night.

DVD visual transfer is widescreen and is vibrant and satisfying as to be expected on a recent film.  Audio is in Dolby Digital 5.1 but nothing seems to stick out in surround or subwoofer workouts.  Extras are non-existent and the non-animated menu is in 4:3 format.

An interesting movie that has a clever storytelling mode and some likeable performances.  It is not a believable film but an entertaining ride with a strong cast.  Apart from some poor wannabe Tarantino like pop culture references (ie.the Deliverance debate is the worst example) this is recommended for an easy nights viewing with a predictable happy ending.  Christian Slater is on autopilot yet still is the standout performer. Enjoy.

Who is Cletis Tout? Features

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