I grew up loving See No Evil, Hear No Evil. I know it hasn’t aged well and that a lot of people see it as the worst of the team ups between its two main actors. And I know it’s probably fuelled by pure nostalgia these days, but what can I say, I still find Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor really funny in that movie. Funny enough that’s it’s totally bizarre that I never got around to seeing their other two major teams ups, Stir Crazy and Silver Streak… Until now. Because now, I have seen Silver Streak and I’m not sure I want to take my chances with Stir Crazy.
They hook up, or at least, they begin to hook up, but are rudely interrupted when Wilder sees a dead body hanging outside the train’s window. This sets off a story of Wilder becoming more and more mixed up in a world of intrigue, suspense and mystery. I assume. I got bored a lot and found myself zoning out for long periods of time struggling to give the smallest of shits about what was going on. Silver Streak gets a much needed shot in the arm about halfway through when Richard Pryor pops up as pretty crook Grover T Muldoon. Black face sequence aside, the chemistry of Wilder and Pryor is almost enough to make it worth sitting through the first half. Almost.
Until the appearance of Pryor, I genuinely wasn’t sure if Silver Streak was supposed to be a comedy or an action thriller. It’s not that I thought the jokes weren’t funny, the problem was I struggled to even recognise attempts at jokes. Maybe it was just working on a subtle, dry level I just don’t get, but I wasn’t 100% sure it was even trying to be a comedy until I googled it and saw a poster that described Silver Streak as, “The most hilarious suspense ride of your life”. Whoever wrote that had one sad life. I say “had” because I assume that line’s author is dead now, having died of shame after lying to the movie going public like that.
In case I haven’t been clear, I did not like Silver Streak. Wilder and Pryor both get a few funny bits here and there, but not nearly enough to fill a feature length film that’s supposedly “The most hilarious suspense ride of your life”. I’m struggling, do I risk it and give Stir Crazy a go, or just play it safe and watch See No Evil, Hear No Evil again?