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Baby Geniuses

Starring Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd, Peter MacNicol
Screenplay by Bob Clark and Greg Michael
from a story by Steven Paul and Francisca Matos & Robert Grasmere
Directed by Bob Clark

IN SHORT: The worst of the year.

It must've been a great movie pitch: The world is really controlled by babies! They're born with the secret knowledge of the workings of the universe. They communicate in a special language (it sounds like "baby talk" to us) that, if we grownups could understand it, the information subsequently revealed could make us rich and powerful. Only an evil corporation, led by the scheming Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) has the ability to cull out the most genius of the these brilliant diaper dumpers. With the aid of Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd) they've identified the best of the best, a twin named Sly who, at age 18 months shows ace karate moves, the black ops planing moves of a seasoned spy and has highly developed olfactory senses that let him ignore "diaper gravy" even when he's swimming in it. Locked away in a secret lab 25 stories below ground, Sly builds escape devices oiut of Lego blocks and heads for the local mall.

That's it! That's the pitch! Mission Impossible starring babies! We'll dress 'em up like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever. We'll have 'em talk that silly little ghetto rap the kids love. We'll kick a couple of grownup nasty guards in the cohones, It'll be cute!

Wait. It gets worse. Sly's twin brother is named Whit. He's dumb. Therefore, he's been dumped into a day care center run by Kinder's niece Robin (Kim Cattrell) and her baby researcher husband Dr. Dan Bobbins (Peter MacNicol) -- from whom Dr. Kinder steals all the really good ideas that have made her rich. With only the aid of a video camera, Doctor Dan has begun to understand the language AND discovered that all babies share a telepathic link. When Robin accidentally switches the two twins, 'cuz she's too dumb to remember how she dressed her kid that morning, the very fate of the world (or at least the BABYCO Corporation) hangs in the balance.

God, just trying to explain this thing logically is causing me pain. Movies as bas as Baby Geniuses are the reason why Press Notes were first invented. Without them, reviewers such as yours truly could never hope to explain the various intricacies of bad movies and give away all the twists and turns that you pay your hard earned bucks to enjoy. What a wonderful thing it is, then, to tell you that there is absolutely nothing I can give away that will ruin Baby Geniuses for you. That is how incredibly bad it is. It must be seen to understand the torment that folk like me go through hundreds of times a year.

I could fill page after page with logistical questions like: if the babies lose their intelligence once they start speaking adult language, why haven't they gotten dumb once they understand adult language? Why do super rich and sophisticated secret labs use diaper services when the poor downtrodden public day care house uses disposable? there's no PC comment here folks -- it's a set up for a number two joke.

Which is what this most painful time in the dark is. A bad number two joke.

Turner can do funny. Lloyd has been doing funny for years and MacNicol does sophisticated funny on Ally MacBeal every week. How then is it, then, that not a damned thing these actors do is funny? The credits are up top, friends. Lock and load.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Baby Geniuses, he would have paid...


You could take a tetanus shot before sitting through this monstrosity and still get lockjaw from how low that mandible will hang.

The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2016   by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.