'Geniuses' is not a film for eggheads

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Take a bunch of cute babies and a once-lofty star like Kathleen Turner, and what do you get? One of the worst movies ever made.

"Baby Geniuses" is a unique form of torture in which even the babies aren't that cute. Out of the computer-animated mouths of these babes come crude and stupid remarks. (The Mercedes ad with the kid singing Johnny Cash-style in the back of the SUV did animation a lot better.)

In the whole movie, in fact, there's a whole lotta dubbin' goin' on. Perhaps someone had second thoughts about the flat, expository dialogue and tried to improve it, but even third or fourth thoughts wouldn't have helped this soiled diaper of a script.

Bob Clark ("Porky's," "A Christmas Story") directed and co-wrote this dippy flick that puts forth the idea that babies somehow know the "wisdom of the universe" (for example: "Don't make this movie!"). Then they learn language and "cross over" to the unenlightened adult world.

So the evil Dr. Kinder (Turner), a one-woman baby-exploiting corporation, is raising infant Einsteins to try to profit from this knowledge.

This cardboard plot is an excuse to have the babies rebel as they exchange so-called witty banter, uncomprehended by the adults around them. And the babies (toddlers, really) also possess puzzling superhuman strength and are able to resort to lame "Home Alone"-type tricks.

The story involves separated twins, one of whom is in the care of the "good" baby researchers (Peter MacNicol, the Biscuit on "Ally McBeal," and Kim Cattrall, who give the only sympathetic performances). And yes, that is Christopher Lloyd slumming as Turner's robotic henchman.

For those of you laboring under the idea that this baby movie might be cute, think again. It's not cute, it's badly done, it's unbelievably boring, and after you sit through the whole thing, the director throws in a flashback pastiche so you can relive it all to the tune of a Randy Travis song.

At this point, you'll be praying for death by a swift rattle to the head.

Clark has the nerve to end "Baby Geniuses" with a sequel joke. Quick, kill it before it reproduces.

'Baby Geniuses'

Starring Kathleen Turner, Peter MacNicol and Kim Cattrall

Directed by Bob Clark

Released by TriStar

Rated PG (slapstick violence, crude dialogue)

Running time: 94 minutes

Sun score: *

Pub Date: 3/12/99

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