"Diamonds in the Rough"
What You Need To Know:
Christian Slater stars in WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? as an escaped career criminal named Trevor Finch, who changes identities with a journalist killed by the hitmen of a powerful mobster. When Finch shows up at the journalist’s apartment to retrieve the dead man’s passport number, the mobsters think they’ve killed the wrong guy. Finch tries to outrun another hitman, played by Tim Allen, while trying to retrieve some stolen diamonds. While in prison, Finch became friends with the original thief of the diamonds, played by Richard Dreyfus. The thief just happens to have a beautiful daughter, Tess, waiting for him on the outside. Relative newcomer Portia De Rossi plays the fetching Tess.
WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? is an entertaining romantic crime comedy with some very sweet, funny moments in it, but the moments are dragged down by the movie’s very strong objectionable elements. Those elements include plenty of strong foul language, strong violence, some homosexual references, and a crude sex scene between one mobster and a prostitute that propels part of the plot. The movie also sides with Finch’s efforts to escape with both the stolen diamonds and the girl. All this requires extreme caution
(PaPa, B, Ho, LLL, VVV, SS, NN, A, D, MM) Pagan worldview where criminal gets away with stolen diamonds and daughter of original thief who took the gems with some positive moral elements regarding the daughter’s family and some homosexual references; 28 obscenities, one GD and three mild profanities; strong crime violence includes mobster strangles prostitute, hitman shoots people dead, hitmen burn corpse, hitmen machine gun closed store and kill one person who doesn’t die right away, and hitman ties up victim; depicted prostitution scene sets stage for murder plot and some homosexual references; partial nudity during sex scene, upper female nudity in morgue and burnt corpse; alcohol use; smoking; and, robbery, stealing and escaped convict gets away with stolen diamonds, but gangsters get their just desserts.
WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? is an entertaining romantic crime comedy that has some very sweet, funny moments in it, but the moments are dragged down by the movie’s strong objectionable elements.
The story opens with a Mafia hitman named Critical Jim, played by comedian Tim Allen, taking a young man, played by Christian Slater, prisoner. Critical Jim intends to kill the man when his client, an important mobster, wires Jim’s fee into his bank account. The mobster thinks the young man is a journalist named Cletis Tout, who taped the mobster’s son strangling a prostitute to death during a sex act.
Critical Jim has a soft heart and a passion for old movies, so the young man “pitches” the hitman a story with all the elements of a perfect screenplay. “I have a story. A good story,” says the young man. “It’s got it all . . . a jewel heist, a prison break, a girl.” The young man claims to be Trevor Finch, career criminal, not Cletis Tout. Finch tells Critical Jim that he’s a convict who helped a jewel thief, played by Richard Dreyfus, escape from prison so that they can dig up some buried diamonds. The jewel thief, who’s also a magician, has a beautiful daughter, Tess, on the outside, who wants to retrieve another special object buried with the diamonds.
With help from a crooked doctor in the morgue, Finch changes identities with Cletis Tout, who has been murdered by the mobster’s other hitmen looking for the tape of the prostitute’s murder. To complete the switch, Finch has to search Tout’s apartment for Tout’s passport number. When Finch shows up in Tout’s apartment, however, the mobsters think they’ve killed the wrong guy. Clearly, this is a job for Critical Jim.
As the story unfolds, and new complications ensue, Finch finds himself falling in love with Tess. The story turns kind of sweet amid all of the mayhem surrounding these two characters.
Tim Allen is a hoot as the hitman who loves movies. The movie references come fast and furious as Finch pitches his story to Critical Jim. Christian Slater and Portia De Rossi also do a great job as the romantic leads, as does the rest of the cast, including Richard Dreyfus as Tess’s father. Writer and director Chris Ver Wiel, who is also a stand-up comedian, ties everything up with a neat bow at the end. The movie’s clever finish will leave many viewers smiling as they exit the theater.
Regrettably, however, WHO IS CLETIS TOUT? contains much rough language, including some crude references to the homosexual rape scene in the movie DELIVERANCE, starring Burt Reynolds. Cross dresser pervert RuPaul also shows up in a small role. Furthermore, the movie includes a look at the scene where the mobster’s son strangles the prostitute and images of the prostitute’s corpse and the corpse of the “unlucky” Mr. Tout. Finally, the movie has a pagan worldview that sides with Finch’s efforts to escape with both the stolen diamonds and the girl. MOVIEGUIDE® therefore advises extreme caution.