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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” (1989)

December 4, 2011

Gene Wilder & Richard Pryor were quite the odd choice for a comedic pairing. Their comedic styles were polar opposites during their prime. But, once their connection was made during the making of Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles”, (Pryor being co-writer) they knew they would make an affect team in the comedy world.

“Silver Streak” & “Stir Crazy” were undeniable there best works together. But, for today’s edition of Blast from the Past Movie Review, I’d like to take a look at a movie that didn’t seem to hit the right notes, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil”. You think “The Ringer” was offensive to the handicapped community? Actually, “The Ringer” wasn’t that bad, I think I’ll save that one for another review. But, “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” certainly didn’t help the stereotypes that many blind and hearing-impaired Americans are identified with.

A bookie is murdered. Two men witness it. A blind man named Wally (Pryor) hears the killer, and a deaf man, Dave (Wilder), sees the killer. The police don’t think they’re credible witnesses, but the killers don’t want to take any chances. The two men must now work together to save themselves and bring the killers to justice. By reading this following premise you get the feeling that this was something borrowed out of an Abbott and Costello movie. More or less the movie is played out that way.

Honestly, I think this was the beginning where Pryor & Wilder knew they were running out of steam in their careers. The jokes wear thin, and the visual gags are embarrassing at the least. Some of it is executed quite well, the car chase scene was done satisfactorily, but it doesn’t help the movie stand together as a whole. This whole plot revolving around a gold coin that killers are after seems too bubble gum. The killers are incredibly stupid, and yes, that is Kevin Spacey playing one of the killers, doing one of the worst British accents I’ve ever heard.

The movie results in a climax that you should have seen coming and when it comes you’re just praying that it doesn’t over stay it’s welcome, unfortunately it does. I’m a fan of both Richard Pryor & Gene Wilder. They were geniuses at their craft, and both leave a landmark on the comedy world. But, this is something I think you can skip. Unless you have a guilty pleasure where cruel handicap jokes are funny.


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