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Baby Geniuses

movie reviewvideo review out of 4 Movie Review: Baby Geniuses

Starring: Kathleen Turner, Christopher Lloyd
Director: Bob Clark
Rated: PG
RunTime: 90 Minutes
Release Date: March 1999
Genres: Comedy, Family, Kids, Christmas

*Also starring: Kim Cattrall, Peter MacNicol, Ruby Dee, Seth Adkins, Kaye Ballard, Dom DeLuise, Kyle Howard, Miko Hughes

Review by Greg King
2 stars out of 4

Baby Co annually spends millions of dollars in experimentation, research and development, aimed at trying to understand the intelligence of early childhood and artificially create super intelligent babies. The corporation is headed by the ruthless Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner), who is prepared to do anything to conclude her research. The company owns a string of orphanages, which provide her with an endless supply of research material.

As part of a controlled experiment, enabling her to compare early growth under her laboratory methods as opposed to an ordinary childhood, Elena has secretly separated identical twin boys Sly and Whit. In a seemingly magnanimous gesture she gives Whit to her niece (Kim Cattrall) and husband Peter Bobbitt (Ally McBeal's Peter MacNicol), a childless couple. Peter is also a researcher with an interest in early childhood development, but he lacks the technology and scientific tools at her disposal.

But Elena's plans begin to unravel. Sly manages to escape from the laboratory and hides out in a local mall, where he and Whit accidentally cross paths. Kinder's goons kidnap the wrong child, while Sly goes home with the Bobbitts. The film climaxes as the clever kids stage a desperate rescue within the gigantic Baby Co HQ.

Although the film has a rather silly premise, Baby Geniuses is technically quite clever and moderately entertaining. Unlike the increasingly tiresome Look Who's Talking series, director Bob Clark (Porky's, etc) takes advantage of the latest in computer generated animation technology to make it seem as though the babies are actually talking. Much of their dialogue and many of their jokes will probably go right over the head of younger audiences though! Clark directs the material with his usual lack of subtlety.

Turner and Christopher Lloyd enter into the spirit of proceedings, and both overact hysterically, while MacNicol and Cattrall bring more restraint to their performances. The Fitzgerald triplets play twins Sly and Whit, while child star Miko Hughes (Mercury Rising, etc) provides their voices.

Most of the winning charm of this decidedly low brow film derives from the antics of the two- year olds with attitude. The tykes effortlessly combine brawn and brain, and they also perform complex martial arts and dance floor moves with remarkable ease. Touches of Home Alone-like slapstick humour and low level violence and some neat sight gags will entertain the youngsters, while the sly movie parodies and one-liners will please older audiences.

Copyright 2000 Greg King

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