Baby Geniuses
Rating -

Comedy (US); 1999; Rated PG; 94 Minutes

Cast
Kathleen Turner: Elena Kinder
Christopher Lloyd: Heep
Kim Cattral: Robin
Peter MacNicol: Dan
Dom DeLuise: Lenny
Ruby Dee: Margo
Kyle Howard: Dickie

Produced by Steven Paul and David Sanders; Directed by Bob Clark; Screenwritten by Steven Paul, Fransisca Matos, Robert Grasmere, Bob Clark and Greg Michael

Review Uploaded
4/02/99

Written by DAVID KEYES

The children in "Baby Geniuses" occupy the movie like failed robotic experiments. It's so obvious that special effects are controlling the movements of their mouths that the entire process was probably designed by someone with the mind capacity of a dairy product. Infants speak with manipulated oral movements that, for some lame-brained reason, don't even run in synch with the actual dialogue. For awhile, I wondered if it was possible that the moviemakers ran the dialogue tape a little further ahead of the actual movie speed, but if they're stupid enough to even consider making a movie like this, the reasons could be various. The picture is designed to appeal to those under an age of six, most likely, but if I were around that age, the last thing I'd want to do is see "Baby Geniuses" at my own free will. Here is a movie so bad, so incredibly lurid, that it doesn't deserved to be described with words containing more than one syllable, for fear that the filmmakers might read this review and get confused.

Everything about it is completely unforgivable; it is an abhorrence to the mind, the heart, the eyes, and to the desire of manipulating the nature of humanity. It's stupid, unfunny, piteous, sloppy, and designed to appeal to an audience that doesn't even exist. There are points when the maniacal script takes so many ridiculous and crummy turns that it wallows in self-pity and expects us not to care. It has the notion that, even if babies cannot be this smart in reality, we will always be the stupid ones. Even though time has proven that no infant has the intelligence of the average human in adulthood, one thing is definitely undeniable here: the people who made "Baby Geniuses" have the IQ of Gerber food.

The movie drones endlessly on the foundations of three entirely obvious setups. At first, you have the typical "Look Who's Talking"/"Babe" formula, in which the morphing of human mouths create the illusion that babies are talking, and talking with tremendous intelligence. Their manipulated oral language translates from the standard baby talk into a highly useful dialect that, as a baby psychiatrist discovers through a process she calls "Kinder Method," could help her and her assistant become 'powerful and wealthy.' The kid she has under close observation is Sly, a young little tike who in truth is separated from his twin, Whit, while Dr. Kinder (Kathleen Turner) observes his language skills under CGI experiments. Meanwhile, Kinder's niece, Robin (Kim Cattral) raises Whit with the warmth and love of a mother.

But Sly knows what the diabolical Kinder is up to. He escapes the lab and winds up in a mall, in which the filmmakers rip-off the "Parent Trap" formula and allow Sly to meet up with his brother, Whit, while he and his parents are shopping. Painfully exercising the defects of human nature, the movie continues on when Whit and Sly decide to trade places and put an end to Kinder's viscous plans.

Then comes the agonizingly boring "Home Alone" cartoon violence; babies trip adults, babies smash objects into adults body parts, and so on. All of it is filmed without reason or passion, and sometimes gets so annoying, watching a series of outtakes from "Cannonball Run" might have been more amusing. In John Hughes' "Home Alone," the bones crunching and screams of pain offered tremendous comic relief for a movie that was pretty much deadweight. Ahh, but if a movie is dead, that usually means it had to be alive at one time or another. "Baby Geniuses" was undoubtedly a dead-zone from the first moment it entertained the thoughts of filmmakers, and thus, by the time the "Home Alone" physical humor arrives, it inflicts such tremendous affliction that you'd rather have diaper rash.

The whole idea is fiddle-faddle. Babies are made out to be incredibly wise individuals who know practically everything while in infancy, and once they reach age two, they just cross over to normal humanity and never remember what they were able to do during their first years of life. If any human audience is expected to believe that, than the creators undoubtedly think that half of the movie audience has lost all prospect to be entertained.

This is absolute cinematic torture; a maniacal insult to the foundation that humanity is made upon, and to the gods who created it all those millenniums ago. To say that I detested every loathsome second of it would be an understatement.


1999, David Keyes, Cinemaphile.org. Please e-mail the author here if the above review contains any spelling or grammar mistakes.
 
 
           
     
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