A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that while this movie's absurd premise might seem to make it pretty kid-friendly, its full of cussing and shouting, and unpleasant good guys. People are killed, hostages are taken, cars are driven irresponsibly and stolen. There are a few graphic jokes about sex and a female nudity is shown.
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What's the story?
Richard Pryor is blind, Gene Wilder is deaf and the two are on the run from the cops and the robbers. When a man is shot and killed at Wilder's newsstand, together the two add up to one unreliable witness. The numskulls then do all the wrong things and wind up as the chief suspects in this murder case. Assuming that the pair hold the murdered man's priceless coin, Kirgo (Kevin Spacey) and Eve (Joan Severance), the actual killers, pose as their lawyers, spring them from jail, and the repeatedly botch umpteen attempts to rub them out and retrieve the coin. This gives the disabled duo ample time to participate in car chases (excitement amplified by the blind man driving) steal police cars, and impersonate Swedish doctors.
Is it any good?
This film represents the dregs of comedy from these '70s stars who, by 1989, are passed their prime. The premise of the deaf leading the blind and the blind leading the deaf has about a two-minute sketch's worth of humor. Not to mention that such a politically-incorrect comedy about disability would most likely not be made today, at least not by comedy legends like these.
There are minor flashes of comic absurdity, most notably in a scene in which Pryor, posing as a Swedish gynecologist, is asked to present his research on the orgasm at a medical conference. Such silly zaniness is a stab at the classic humor of Mel Brooks. But even Wilder's attempt at a silly German accent falls flat and reminds us that this is no Young Frankenstein.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the experiences of handicapped persons, how the blind and deaf cope and compensate for their diminished senses. Wilder's character says that people don't want to touch him, fearful that it his deafness is contagious. Families can discuss prejudices and fears about disabled people. Another conversation might center around whether it's good form to find humor in people's disabilities.
For kids who love comedies
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