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See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

Murder! The blind guy couldnt see it. The deaf guy couldnt hear it. Now theyre both wanted for it.

Directed by:

Arthur Hiller

Rating: 4/10

Running Time: 103 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

On DVD

Country: United States

Of the small bundle of joint outings from Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder, this one tends to be the most derided. Thankfully, that normally tends to be on comedy grounds rather than those of taste – which is a good job because, as we all know, there's nothing REMOTELY tasteless about seeing a blind guy and a deaf guy framed for murder and finding it funny. Not in the slightest.

Pryor plays Wally (he's the blind one) and Wilder plays Dave, who's deaf. Pardon? I said deaf. Nothing particularly comedic about that, you might think. Ahhh, but what if the pair of them wind up in the clink for a murder they didn't commit, and have to escape to clear their names?

Okay, so that still doesn't sound exactly hilarious, but in all fairness this movie does have some pretty funny moments. For instance, when Pryor pretends to be finding out for the first time that's he's not white, and wails: 'I'll have to cancel the swimming lessons! What are the guys at the club gonna say?! Does dad know?' Or when the pair of them pretend to be European surgeons to scam their way into a hotel. Not to mention the scene where a lip-reading Wilder mistakes the question 'was there or wasn't there a woman?' for 'fuzzy wuzzy was a woman'. Ho Ho! Oh well, suppose you had to be there.

The main problem is that the sporadic moments of all-out mirth aren't enough to make up for a pitiful plotline which really doesn't make enough of the idea at hand.

Wilder does as well as is possible given the material he's working with and Pryor, as is his forte, relies predominantly on swearies to prise a chuckle out of his audience. Look out as well for a very early and very bizarre appearance from Kevin Spacey, sporting an unnerving pseudo-David Niven accent and 'tache. Being something of a big-shot thesp now, he probably wouldn't thank us for mentioning it. Tough.

It's Got: Richard Pryor using the letter F a lot.

It Needs: To take better advantage of the original premise and work more laughs into the script.

DVD Extras Behind-the-scenes featurette, filmographies and a theatrical trailer. DVD Extras Rating: 3/10

Alternatives:

Another You, Silver Streak, Stir Crazy

Summary

Inconsistent comedy with a few good laughs but a poor storyline.

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One Comment

  1. kyle
    Posted January 2, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    really funny and good directing

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