Directed by: Bob Clark
Starring: Jon Voight, Scott Biao, Vanessa Angel, Skyler Shaye, Justin Chatwin
If you care for your children, keep them away from Super Babies: Baby Geniuses 2.
The underlying theme of this ridiculous waste of film stock is that kids worldwide are being brainwashed by bad TV. To hammer home his point, director Bob Clark (Porky's) relentlessly bludgeons his audience with every technique from bad kids' TV he can think of: hyperactive running around, pulsing music, drenched primary colors, incomprehensible dialogue and, of course, stupid adults. There's not one scene of what Superbabies is supposedly espousing kids to do --read, finger paint, play sports, enjoy nature -- and not one minute of creative silence in the entire movie. By the time the end credits were running, I felt I'd been shot up with amphetamines. And this is how we want kids to feel after taking them to the movies? God help us.
It would boggle the mind to detect even one molecule of logic in this story. Media mogul Bill Biscane (Jon Voight, Manchurian Candidate) is some kind of Nazi-replica bad guy who wants to turn every kid on the planet into a mindless robot. "Control the kids," he says, "and you control the world."
Biscane's biggest fault, as we learn later, is not his bad hair, or his atrocious dialogue or his compulsion to rot the brain of every living earthling. No, the reason Biscane is a bad guy is because "he can't make friends."
Terrifyingly similar in most of the children's films I've seen recently is this be-like-everybody-else theme. The main goal in life, today's kids are being told by movies, is to learn how to play in the sandbox. Not be an independent thinker and design the sandbox, or make a better sandbox, or share your sandbox with kids who don't have one -- or, heaven forbid, rewrite the sandbox rules. Oh, no. Your goal in life, kids, is to accept your sandbox without question so that you, too, can grow up to be a good little corporate clone. Arghhhh!
Biscane's nemesis, Kahuna (played by the handsome Fitzgerald triplets), is a pint-sized superhero who must have taken fighting lessons from Jet Li. Meantime, a quartet of tykes in day-care (in the requisite politically correct diversity: two white boys, one African-American boy, and one girl, each played by various twins or triplets) are speaking their secret language to one another, a language that parents don't understand. Nor does anyone else. In perhaps the worst dialogue ever written for baby or adult, the super-geniuses talk like pretentious college professors.
One of the kids has parents. The clueless Dad is Scott Biao (Dumb Luck), while Mom is Vanessa Angel (The Perfect Score), who looks as if she's had so many collagen injections that her lips are going to explode. The only actors who emerge from this mess unscathed are the teenagers -- Skyler Shaye (Manhood) and Justin Chatwin (Taking Lives), both of whom are likeable and lovely, and deserve to be in better movies.
Kahuna rescues the kids from boring day-care and turns them into superheroes. Alas, he never bothers to get them potty-trained, because the superheroes spend the entire movie in their droopy diapers. Kahuna takes them to his magical underground Holographic Kingdom where, among other things, all the animals are just images, so kids never have to take care of them. (Wow, just what today's kids need -- no responsibility for anything, not even their pets.)
Each kid somehow kicks, slams, punches, smashes, rolls over, jumps on, bounces into or sends an arrow into the butt of an adult. No blood, of course, just lots of violence. Then, after all the adults in the movie (and perhaps some in the audience) are collapsed in a heap on the floor, Kahuna announces, "Never send a man to do a boy's job!"
A tall boy, maybe 11, looking shell-shocked from the experience of having to sit through this movie with his little sister, told me what he thought of Super Babies 2. "Stupid," he said. "Really stupid."
-- reviewed by Marci Miller