A deaf marathon runner finds herself the owner of a valuable coin which has several criminals after it. She is then helped by an investigative reporter whose friend is consequently murdered because of his involvement. Along the way, the woman somehow manages to cure herself of her disability.
In 1967's Wait Until Dark, Audrey Hepburn played a supercompetent blind lady who accidentally came into possession of some drugs which several factions of vicious crook were after, and, in a suspenseful finale, overcomes her handicap and sees off a maniacal baddie. Here, in a blindingly original scenario, Matlin plays a competent deaf lady who accidentally comes into possession of a valuable coin which several factions of vicious crook are after, and in a would-be suspenseful finale overcomes her handicap and sees off a maniacal baddie.
Matlin, a marathon runner, whom the film manages to get into many a tight leotard, is as charming and spunky as in her big hit, Children Of A Lesser God. Sweeney, an insomniac restaurateur who gets involved with Matlin and the intrigue when his journo best friend (McGinley) is mysteriously blown up, is a fine, if lightweight, leading man. On the baddie front, Sheen plays a corrupt, opera-loving cop with the film's biggest laugh line: "That's the worst Rigoletto I've ever seen."
Apart from stealing a whole plot, and poaching the runaround gag from Dustin Hoffman in Marathon Man, the choppy screenplay also features a return of many of your favourite plot devices of recent years: the corpse who isn't really dead; the valuable object hidden in a household device the heroine takes everywhere (a beeper); the hero's hobby which comes in useful for a burglary (he's an indoor mountain-climber); the villain who leaves vital evidence against him lying around where it can easily be found; and even the vitally secret information kept secret from the audience. On a scene to scene level, Hear No Evil is competent. But as directed by Greenwald, the man who gave you Olivia Newton-John in Xanadu, this is a frankly ridiculous thriller, occasionally elevated by acting above and beyond the call of the script.
Although very similar to the 1967 film Wait Until Dark, sadly Hear No Evil is nowhere as good. Where the previous film managed to convince, Greenwood somehow makes it seem ridiculous that Matlin would get her hearing back, yet somehow in the climax she does just that.