See No Evil, Hear No Evil

Synopsis: It was murder! The blind guy couldn’t see it. The deaf guy couldn’t hear it. But now they’re both wanted for it in the drop-dead comedy, See No Evil, Hear No Evil, that reunites the outrageous comedy duo Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder (Silver Streak, Stir Crazy). Meet Wally and Dave – Wally is blind, Dave is deaf. When a man is murdered outside the newsstand where they work, the police collar these two unlikely buddies as their main suspects. A hilarious chase ensues as Wally and Dave hightail it from the New York Police Department to snag the real bad guys – the wickedly beautiful Eve (Joan Severance, Black Scorpion) and her cold-blooded cohort, Kirgo (Kevin Spacey, American Beauty). From director Arthur Hiller (Silver Streak) comes this zany comedy caper you won’t want to miss.

See No Evil, Hear No Evil 4.5

Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor are reunited with ‘Silver Streak’ director Arthur Hiller in this farce about a deaf man and a blind man who are the only witnesses to a murder and who end up on the run, chased by both the law and the real criminals.

Sounds like a larf? Personally, I thought that it sounded really lame. But I was curious to see more Wilder/Pryor tag-teaming, having cherished ‘Stir Crazy’ from a young age (and, which, to be truthful, has not aged well at all). Frankly, I never wanted to see those movies (even back in the day!), but curiosity eventually got the best of me.

Surprisingly, the first 20 minutes were actually rather enjoyable: Wilder and Pryor, at their best, work especially well together; you get a sense that they enjoyed their team, because their dynamic flows in a way rarely seen on screen. It’s led by Wilder’s affable character, mind you – and it’s a good thing because it helps to mute Pryor’s more over-the-top persona (a persona that must have influenced Chris Rock greatly, based on their similar approaches to acting).

However, the rest of the film turns into a standard ‘80s comedy: cheesy, unrealistic and contrived as all hell. In fact, the story and the humour is frequently so lame and unoriginal that it made me want to cover my eyes and ears and mutter “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” to myself repeatedly until this groanfest had completed its pointless run across my screen.

Well, okay… it’s not THAT bad. But only the first 20 mins prevents this film from being a total washout – and landing in the same category as some of the worst entries of the endless ‘Police Academy’ series. Sigh… it’s a shame that this comic duo squandered their talent on such fare.

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