By Ty Burr
March 19, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Baby Geniuses

F
type
  • Movie
Genre

When do special effects constitute child abuse? Back in the Look Who’s Talking ’80s, Bruce Willis’ voice was all you needed to create the illusion of an infant cracking wise. The proudly modern Baby Geniuses relies instead on digital morphing to make babies appear to move their lips — yes, the old Clutch Cargo gimmick — and, in one especially grotesque scene, to bop, Dancing Baby-style, to the Bee Gees’ ”Stayin’ Alive.” The movie, about separated-at-birth brainiac toddlers uniting to battle an evil corporate CEO (Kathleen Turner, officially landing at barrel’s bottom), wastes a decent cast (Ruby Dee, for Pete’s sake) and some cute tykes on fraudulent sentiment and lazily cruddy dialogue (you won’t wait in vain for one of the kids to gurgle ”Show me the money!”). Worse, director Bob Clark, who charmingly put across a child’s-eye view of life in 1983’s A Christmas Story, here purveys the babies-are-little-adults Big Lie in the crassest possible fashion, right down to the PlayStation product placement. For all the script’s cant about letting kids be kids, Baby Geniuses denies them that possibility: It’s a creepily precise example of what it demonizes. F

Baby Geniuses

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  • Movie
Genre
mpaa
  • PG
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