Baby Geniuses

MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Kathleen Turner plays Elena Kinder, a child psychiatrist and the CEO of a huge baby products corporation. She and her partner, Heep (Christopher Lloyd), operate a futuristic laboratory where they secretly conduct experiments on genius orphaned babies. They hope to prove they can produce superior children in a sterile scientific environment. Sly, who is Elenas most challenging genius, breaks out of the laboratory, outsmarting security guards and sophisticated surveillance equipment. Eventually, when he accidentally meets his identical twin in the mall, they switch places and all kinds of mayhem follow. BABY GENIUSES is fast-paced, fun and ridiculous. The diapered toddlers understand each others baby talk, completely outwitting their caregivers. Youngsters will cheer for the baby geniuses as they rebel against evil, and parents will marvel at how the filmmakers were able to extract such believable performances from the two-year-olds. A screen filled with adorable babies is hard to resist.

In spite of the films cleverness, however, its mean-spirited violence executed by innocent Sly is disturbing. The toddler delivers a painful blow to one guards crotch, hits another in the eye and knocks a homeless man out with a punch in the face. Sly and his little army of helpers trick their pursuers with a booby trap, resulting in painful hits to their genitals as the tykes shout with glee. Buddhist practices of mantra chanting, reincarnation and crossing over from one life to another are frequently mentioned. Also, the idea that human intelligence is at its highest before we learn to talk and before we cross over into the adult world may confuse children. Yet parental love triumphs over the cold, impersonal scientific theories of greedy Elena and Heep. A few slang words for male genitals and dirty diapers are crude and gratuitous. Also disappointing are several profanities and crudities. There is no sex or nudity, but Sly asks a baby girl in a carriage to take off her dress in a suggestive way. What a shame that once more Hollywood will make discerning parents look like bad guys when they object to the subtle promotion of Buddhism, and to the crude language and gratuitous violence in BABY GENIUSES.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Columbia Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (8) timesMild 4, Moderate 4

Obscene Language: Few times (slang for male genitals, dirty diapers)

Profanity: Several (7) timesRegular 1 (Gods sake), Exclamatory 6

Violence: Many timesModerate (baby hits man in crotch, rigs skis to hit to men in genitals, punches man in face, hits guard in eye; man falls from helicopter, two women fight, baby runs in heavy traffic)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Baby boy asks baby girl to remove her dress

Drugs: Baby with cigar in mouth

Other: Buddhist belief in reincarnation, hypnotism, mental telepathy practiced; references to crossing over from one life to another; teenager with nose ring dresses as Buddhist monk; man and teenager pick noses

Running Time: 94 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 6 and older

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