Aterminally dull, pointless would-be thriller, “Hear No Evil” has a perfunctory story with the gimmick of a deaf damsel in distress grafted on uncertainly. Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin’s talents are wasted.
She plays a physical trainer in Portland whose client John C. McGinley hides a rare stolen coin in her beeper before being nabbed by the cops.
McGinley’s car blows up and corrupt cop Martin Sheen starts harassing Matlin to retrieve the coin.
McGinley’s pal D.B. Sweeney takes Matlin under his wing and duo finally bring in the FBI to catch Sheen.
There’s a lame-duck final twist to this trivial story, but by then nearly all TV viewers will have tuned out.
At least in theaters, where the film opened without press screenings, the audience is trapped into sticking this one out.
Director Robert Greenwald and his scripters evidence zero knowledge of suspense, nuance or even elementary thrills as the villain and nearly all story particulars are laid out in the opening minutes.
In the final reel Matlin has a cat & mouse sequence trapped in a mountain lodge with the killer, but unlike such effective films as “Wait Until Dark,” her handicap (deafness) is not used as an equalizer but rather merely increases her jeopardy.
Supporting cast, particularly Sheen as the zero-dimensional villain, performs with little involvement.
Matlin is sexy but not given a chance at characterization.
Film’s technical credits are subpar in an obvious B-movie exercise to fill out Fox’s release schedule with a minimum of effort or commitment.