Penn & Teller Get Killed

  • 1989
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy

Although some critics have found PENN & TELLER GET KILLED unworthy of the talents of director Arthur Penn (BONNIE AND CLYDE), he and comedy magicians Penn & Teller (playing themselves) have made a deeply subversive film, a disillusionist work in an era when illusion permeates American culture, a comedy that plays for keeps. During a television interview,...read more

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Although some critics have found PENN & TELLER GET KILLED unworthy of the talents of director Arthur Penn (BONNIE AND CLYDE), he and comedy magicians Penn & Teller (playing themselves) have made a deeply subversive film, a disillusionist work in an era when illusion permeates American

culture, a comedy that plays for keeps. During a television interview, Penn confesses that life has gotten a little dull lately and irresponsibly wishes that someone would liven things up by trying to kill him. Naturally, things get livelier as Penn and Teller each hatch elaborate plots against

the other, with the gags that follow escalating in scale and potential violence. Then the action takes a darker turn when it seems that someone really is trying to kill Penn. During its early sections, PENN & TELLER GET KILLED recalls the films of W.C. Fields and The Marx Brothers, acting as a

showcase for the illusionist comedians, but the film's covert subject--the way in which our culture has turned violence into entertainment--lends even the early passages an odd gravity, and the film turn ominous by following its premise to its logical conclusion--that our cultural fascination with

violence represents a kind of a national death wish. Like Arthur Penn, Penn & Teller are loved by some and hated by others, but their power to provoke is undeniable. Their movie, like their act, is very serious fun.

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  • Released: 1989
  • Rating: R
  • Review: Although some critics have found PENN & TELLER GET KILLED unworthy of the talents of director Arthur Penn (BONNIE AND CLYDE), he and comedy magicians Penn & Teller (playing themselves) have made a deeply subversive film, a disillusionist work in an era whe… (more)

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