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Saturday, March 17, 2012

My 100 Worst Movies of the 90's - 19 - Baby Geniuses (1999)

Baby Geniuses (1999; Triumph Pictures)
Another in the Totally Unnecessary category, Baby Geniuses is a comedy about two scientists who work for BabyCo (dumb name) who are trying to unlock the universal knowledge babies are born with by learning Baby Talk. Baby Talk is not just a bunch of gurgling and mumbo jumbo though, it’s actually a highly sophisticated language they forget once the babies learn to speak (WHAT!?). The first mistake this film makes is it gives babies far too much credit, the second one is its just plain unfunny.  

The focus of the film is Sly, the leader of the babies who escapes the lab and rallies together some of the other babies on the outside to rescue the other captive babies inside. The result are scenes where Sly uses baby kung fu to fight off baddies while the adults act completely confused by what is going on. In one particularly bizarre (and I would even say grotesque) scene, Sly dons a leisure suit and dances disco-style to the Bee Gee’s Sayin’ Alive. Thus is the issue with this film: it suffers from ADD and revels in the idea that a baby acting like this is not creepy, but funny.  

Baby Geniuses makes the top 20 worst of the 90’s, which rank not just among the worst of the 90’s but the worst of all time. Baby Geniuses is particularly offensive due its hideous effects, which aren’t cute, rather they are disturbing. The digital mouths don’t look quite right, and instead resemble more closely a YouTube video where somebody thought it would be fun to use Final Cut to make it look as though their dog can talk. This is a shoddy work with bad performances by some talented actors. It’s a shame too.  

I do not believe Baby Geniuses could have worked no matter who they cast however I think that this list of B and C-grade stars was lost when they signed on to this project, which was doomed from conception. The film’s story is the product of Steven Paul, who also wrote the story for the 2011 film Opposite Day, a movie that I couldn’t even finish to review on this blog legitimately. The film was directed by Bob Clark, a director with only one good film to his credit, A Christmas Story. The rest of his repertoire is just horrible, and Baby Geniuses just may be the worse of them all.

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