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John Larroquette is the head of a detective agency that is hired to find a missing person, probably kidnapped. They employ the help of a mystic/psychic to help find the missing girl. Written by
Jason Ihle <email@example.com>
A clip from the TV series Perfect Strangers (1986) plays on the TV. In the clip, Larry Appleton is calling for "Balki." Bronson Pinchot, who stars in this film as Bobby, played Balki in "Perfect Strangers." See more »
When Bobby is controlling the actions of the three hoodlums, he puts his arms down twice. See more »
[answering machine message]
Hello, you've reached the Second Sight *psychic* detective agency. We know who you are and what you want, so, at the sound of the beep, hang up.
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It's sort of Ghostbusters (1984) meets Ghost (1990), although much funnier than either of those, with even a little bit of Airplane! (1980), believe it or not, thrown in at the end. In spite of all this, Second Sight manages to be wildly original.
An ex-cop, a psychic researcher from Harvard and his pet-like subject have formed a detective agency, using the psychic to help them unravel crimes. They take on a case for $300 helping a nun toward whom the ex-cop has great animosity find out who rear-ended her car.
Sound crazy? It is!
Thrown into the bargain, just about every way you can think of exploiting a clairvoyant is spoofed, from horse racing and the lottery to dating. "Tell me! Is she a Scorpio?"
John Laroquette plays the ex-cop in what is perhaps his breakthrough role. He is good here just like he is in everything I've ever seen him in. I think maybe this is where they got the idea for his McBride character.
Even though John Laroquette gets top billing, the movie really belongs to Bronson Pinchot. He manages to be completely over-the-top without being annoying in the way Jim Carey often is. In many respects he is like a two-year-old running out of control, getting into everything, innocently exploring everything he comes in contact with. Including the opposite sex.
And, also like a two-year-old, I don't see how anyone could not ultimately find him endearing. Even John Laroquette, who is demonstrably tortured by him all the way through, warms to him in the last few minutes.
Stuart Pankin is very strong as the second banana, the Harvard PhD that is the only one who can control Pinchot. Every moment he has on screen is superbly played, and his catch phrase of "very rare!" in describing whatever latest psi phenomenon Pinchot is manifesting is a masterpiece of comedic writing and delivery.
The movie is excellently directed by Joel Zwick, in his only venture out of the small screen before My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002). The pacing is great, never a dull moment. Not overdone, not quite madcap, yet there is something in every scene and at every turn to make you laugh. Sight gags, silly situations, some slapstick. But mostly you'll laugh from the dialog.
The best thing about the movie is the writing, which is surprisingly high quality for a movie of this sort. Only the Airplane and Naked Gun series rival it in taking stupidity to intelligent heights. The thoughtful wittiness of the dialog hits you on the funny bone again and again.
Don't get me wrong. The movie is no Wilde or Coward play, no Woody Allen movie, not even Monty Python. It's definitely stupid humor. But it's delightful, intelligent, clever and entertaining stupid humor.
The special effects are also great, better than I would have expected from a movie of this type. I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that Pinchot does a lot of levitation and zapping of one kind or another during the film.
Don't believe the low ratings on this one. If you like clever dialog along the lines of Airplane and Naked Gun, and ridiculous supernatural stuff like Ghostbusters, I guarantee you'll get a lot of laughs out of Second Sight.
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