Real Genius

1985, Movie, PG, 105 mins


This disappointing teen comedy from director Martha Coolidge is another entry in the rash of teens-goofing-with-science films. Fifteen-year-old Mitch Taylor (Gabe Jarret) is a whiz-kid who is accepted into a "young genius"-type college program by professor and TV science show host Hathaway (William Atherton). Hathaway has become secretly embroiled with the CIA over a space-based laser weapon that they demand be delivered to them posthaste. Desperate to have the weapon completed, he has drafted some of the finest young minds in the country to his college and fooled them into doing all the work. Mitch finds himself rooming with 21-year-old senior Chris Knight (Val Kilmer), a former boy genius who has discovered that brains aren't everything. Although the plot of REAL GENIUS is so flimsy that it threatens to collapse every couple of minutes, director Coolidge concentrates her efforts on creating likable, fresh characters out of her rather mundane material, and to a certain extent she succeeds. Unfortunately, while the characters are fairly offbeat and interesting, the film is weighed down by some tediously handled camp intrigue, political skullduggery, and $2 million worth of special effects. leave a comment

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