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