Sunday, May 4, 2008

See No Evil, Hear No Evil

See No Evil, Hear No Evil; Comedy, USA, 1989; D: Arthur Hiller, S: Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Joan Severence, Kevin Spacey, Alan North

Dave is a deaf former actor who now works as a newspaper salesman, employing the blind Wally. But already on their first day, a murder occurs in their store and the police arrests them as the prime suspects. But the real murderer is a woman, Eve, a criminal who smuggles a valuable coin that can create energy for a whole town. When she and her associate Kirgo find them, Dave and Wally escape from prison and go on a chase. They find the bad guy in a castle and alarm the police.

Not entirely successful comedy rightfully got mixed reviews from critics, and it came as a result of the further collaboration between comedians Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor, who made four films together, among other "Stir Crazy" and "Another You". Just like all of those films, "See No Evil, Hear No Evil" is also a crummy comedy for the low tastes that didn't manage to launch the two comedians into the status of a legend, like let's say Laurel and Hardy. One inevitably has to admit that the exposition in which the two heroes - one deaf, the other one blind - half meet, but actually don't register each other due to their shortcomings, is impressive, yet a lot of the gags are just based on torturing and ridiculing their handicap through the crime story they have been placed into, which isn't that funny, even though a few good gags emerge, mostly based on the one not hearing something and the other not seeing something. The screenplay is lousy and full of cliches while Joan Severence is just there to play a handsome Barbie doll, while it's interesting to spot Kevin Spacey in a small role of the bad guy Kirgo with the moustache, who would later overshadow the main stars of the film.


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