Baby Geniuses

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Cast of Characters:

* Dr. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) – A crazed scientist who dreams of discovering the secret language of babies, Elena hides behind the public façade of being kind, charitable, and loving. Do ya see the irony here, people?

* Dr. Heep (Christopher Lloyd) – Despite the fact he was in such pop culture classics as Back to the Future and Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, character actor Christopher Lloyd is now reduced to playing the generic sidekick to Dr. Kinder.

* Robin Bobbins (Kim Cattrall) – Is it possible to be so boring in a movie you might as well be a coffee table or window dressing? The answer is yes if you’re playing Robin, the whiny, bland mother of our star babies.

* Dan Bobbins (Peter MacNicol) – As the vanilla ying to Robin’s tepid yang, Dan is responsible for looking and sounding even less like a human being than his wife. He’s also trying to tap into the secret language of babies, don’t ya know.

* Lenny (Don DeLuise) – Hey, it’s the guy who was in All Dogs Go To Heaven! Oh, honey, what is his name? It’s right on the tip of my tongue! He was in Cannonball Run, wasn’t he? Shoot, this is driving me nuts!

* Black Lady (Ruby Dee) – I never heard the name of this character until about halfway into the film, so for now I’ll be referring to this character as Black Lady. She, along with Lenny, takes care of the babies who attend Dan and Robin’s day care center.

* Dickie (Kyle Howard) – Besides the unfortunate fact he has one of the worst names on Earth, Dickie is also a complete idiot. His one character trait is his need to dress up in supposedly “crazy” outfits in order to get himself fired from working at the day care.

* Sly/Whit (Leo, Myles, and Gerry Fitzgerald) – Could any two babies have more attitude and spunk? With their stable of classic 1990s one-liners, the wit delivered by this duo can be matched by none other. I’m kidding, of course.

* The Other Babies – These include Basil (a somewhat villainous kid), Whit’s younger sister, a rarely seen romantic foil for Sly named Lexie, and some tot named Teddy. Needless to say, these aren’t the most interesting characters put to film.

Babies have always been popular with many, since they are cute, playful, and compact. Uh, I mean, bald. One of Nickelodeon’s most successful shows featured ‘toon toddlers, and who couldn’t love Oscar from Ghostbusters 2? Of course, everything has a dark side, and babies definitely have their quirks. No one likes a baby who pukes pea green vomit, and moviegoers didn’t exactly rush to theaters at the prospect of hearing comedian Roseanne’s voice come out of an infant in Look Who’s Talking Too. So what happens when you take a bunch of babies and animate their mouths so they look like they’re discussing “diaper gravy” and coming on to one another? Heads explode, the elderly go hungry, and entire nations topple.

Say hello to today’s feature presentation, Baby Geniuses, one of those supposed “family” films which bores kids to tears and makes adults gnash their teeth in disgust. As such, I’m assuming Tristar Pictures had a little trouble choosing the design for the video box. Why else would they include these quotes, which don’t actually praise the film but rather make extremely neutral statements?

“It’s a live-action ‘Rugrats’!” – Boxoffice

“Baby Geniuses is kind of like ‘101 Dalmatians’ with toddlers instead of puppies.” – Andrew Johnson, Time Out

“The antics recall ‘Home Alone’, ‘Saturday Night Fever’, ‘The Three Stooges’, ‘The Great Escape’…” – Bob Longino, Atlanta Journal Constitutional

Do you get the feeling these people are actually trying to ward off potential viewers of this film by mentioning as many classic movies as possible? Sadly, I’m one of those sad individuals who can’t be swayed by the warnings of others, so let’s roll up our sleeves and dive right into this pool of pain and terror, shall we?

The video began, like most do, with a series of quick previews for other kiddie flicks, such as Stuart Little, Muppets In Space, and The Nuttiest Nutcracker. Oddly enough, the last trailer was for Look Who’s Talking, which starred Bruce Willis as the voice of, yep, a talking baby. Sheesh, when the film you’re trying to review continually attempts to make you turn off the VCR and look for something better, you know you’re in for a troublesome afternoon.

Some establishing shots of a foreboding building open the film as generic military music is played. The building is named Baby Genius, so I think we can safely assume one of our chatty tots will be spotted sometime soon. Suddenly, an alarm goes off, and we cut inside the building as a man dressed in security attire steps out of an elevator, nearly slamming his head against the camera in the process.

“He’s out!” exclaims the worried young man. The camera whips around to the other side of the room, where a grizzled old gentleman glares and squints with utter malice. Since this character gets to wear large sunglasses indoors, I’m guessing he’s the one in charge.

“Whaddya mean he’s out?” grunts the elderly coot. At this point the close-ups are so extreme I expected this actor’s breath to fog up on the lens.

“Sylvester! He’s escaped!” the young man states.

“Impossible!” Wrinkly Guy asserts. “Maximum alert!” In hindsight, I guess escaping isn’t impossible, but you get the picture.

The next few moments are spent showcasing a montage of helicopters, various security guards, and Wrinkly Guy, who gets to spout a bunch of technical terms concerning perimeters, probers, and whatnot. The quick editing suggests this is an emergency, so Sylvester must be quite the brute. A point-of-view shot takes us outside the Baby Genius building and into a courtyard, where Sylvester spots a band of guards on his tail. He goes for the nearest staircase, which leads into a hedge maze.

Then, in a moment which was probably meant to make the audience gasp in surprise, we see a pair of baby legs run across the screen. Oh my, Sylvester is actually a child! How funny and ironic. Honey, did you see the baby legs? My, we were so convinced Sylvester would be an adult! Ho, ho, ho. Blech. Needless to say, cynical questions started to creep up on me at this point. For instance, why can’t any of the security guards catch up with this kid? Babies can’t run very fast, since their legs are shorter than those of adults, so is everyone just winded or what?

The hedge maze leads Sylvester to a dead end, but a light bulb goes off when he spots a nearby fountain. Mere seconds later the guards arrive with Wrinkly Guy, who orders them to search the perimeter. Man, this man loves his perimeters! Wrinkly soon spots Sylvester in the fountain, his cheeks puffed out like a blowfish. Gee, where could this be going, I wonder? Unsurprisingly, Wrinkly Guy leans in to grab the kid but receives a mouthful of water on his face instead. Har, har.

An important note to make here is how the movie uses a stock sound of baby laughter for the first time during this hilarious fountain scene. Over the course of the film this sound will be used so many times my brain shrinks as a result, but just for the sake of completion, I’ll be pointing out whenever this laugh pops up.

Wrinkly Guy, now thoroughly doused, instructs his men to move in and nab Sylvester. I had to watch this next part more than a few times, because the sheer ineptitude of a certain special effect had my jaw on the floor. See, knowing a baby could not leap from the fountain and into a karate stance, the filmmakers chose to cut-and-paste a frozen image of Sylvester’s head on the body of a midget stunt double. The result is so gloriously bad, even a passing glance would send the average viewer into a mixture of amusement and shock. Things become even funnier when we hear Sylvester letting out a standard kung-fu yell, even though his mouth never moves.

What follows is the complete humiliation of the guards as they get their butts kicked by someone who barely comes up to their knees. Yep, Sylvester becomes a full-on action hero, twirling full grown men over his shoulder and kicking them square in the crotch. I’m not going to get into the utter stupidity of how an infant could topple adults, mainly because the situation describes itself. I don’t care if Sylvester is supposed to be a genius, since the smartest kids in the world could not do anything shown here. Oh, this fight also prompts Sylvester to emit Stock Laugh #2.

After successfully beating the stuffing out of the guards, Sylvester flees the scene only to turn a corner and face the single most evil man ever to grace the silver screen: Christopher Lloyd. Here he plays the diabolical Dr. Heep, and we know he’s wicked by the way he’s introduced. At first he is shrouded in darkness, but as the camera slowly pans up his body, a helicopter spotlight reveals his smarmy, goateed mug to the world. This prompts an ominous tone on the soundtrack, along with three explosive booms, each one cueing yet another extreme close-up. Good gravy, this fellow is just plain Satanic!

Sylvester stops dead in his tracks upon seeing Dr. Heep, who I guess is a master of kung-fu and thus would be invincible in such a struggle. The guards arrive in a huff, and they are berated by Heep for having such lax security. One of the guards relates the karate incident, which makes Lloyd break into a bizarre, Grinch-like grin. He’s very happy Sylvester can handle himself, writing off the escape as more proof of the Kinder Method’s superiority. He then commands the guards to take the baby to the secret lab. Uh, doc, just so ya know, a secret lab ain’t much of a secret when you go around saying the phrase “secret lab.”

In a stupid choice of style, we hear and see a camera shutter go off right before zooming in on Sylvester’s head. The kid’s noggin then detaches from its body and begins to eerily float about the screen. A quick background change has the head flying around a computer monitor, with a banner reading Operation Twincomp appearing below. We hear Dr. Heep asking for access to this file, and after a quick voice analysis a Hal-like entity grants him entry.

This computer ends up being what I like to call the Exposit-Tron 3000 model, which explains, in explicit detail, all of the information needed to understand the story. In other words, this is a really lazy device for getting all the exposition out of the way, even if the characters are already aware of the facts. Another good example of the Exposit-Tron computer can be found in The Time Guardian, starring Carrie Fischer.

Anyway, like I said before, Dr. Heep should already know everything about his own project, but for some bizarre reason he requests it be reviewed “in summary form.” The computer begins by stating how Sylvester has a twin brother named Whit. They were born to a surrogate mother, after which Whit was given to the niece of Dr. Elena Kinder, our movie’s villainess. Sylvester lives in a Hyper-Developmental Habitat (good lord) so he can be raised according to the Kinder Method of learning. At the age of six, the boys are supposed to go through a comparative analysis to prove how the Kinder Method trumps all others.

Then, in an even more laughable example of exposition, the computer actually says how Sylvester and Whit must never meet, because if anyone knew they were twins the project would be ruined. Gee, thanks, Exposit-Tron! Hey, why not just tell us the entire story from start to finish? We could get out of here much quicker! What gets me is how any filmmaker would think this scene could possibly entertain an audience. Do kids care about Hyper-Developmental Habitats and comparative analyses? Do adults? Then why is this here?!

Dr. Heep records his observations about Sylvester’s escape, admitting the baby can’t be controlled but confident in Dr. Kinder’s ability to think of a solution. Yeah, and flea-infested chimps are going to come out of my belly button and sing a song about the low wages of factory workers in New Guinea. Thankfully, this moment ends the incredibly slow opening and we can move on to the opening credits.

A helicopter with the Baby Genius logo flies high over a city while an off-screen woman talks about the accomplishments of Dr. Kinder. This monologue is meant to show us how the public perceives Kinder to be a classy, wonderful woman, when in fact she’s cruel and hateful to children. Gee, how ironic, right? The woman is introducing Dr. Kinder at the grand opening of her newest attraction, Joy World, which is the largest indoor theme park in America…or something.

The crowd gathered inside the park’s auditorium gives Dr. Kinder a standing ovation upon her stepping up to the podium, but one woman doesn’t follow their lead. This is Kinder’s niece, Robin Bobbins, who is scratching herself incessantly. Beside her is Dan, her husband, and together they are the blandest couple next to Jessica Simpson and Nick…Whateverhislastnameis. Honestly, these two have so little impact on the film they might as well be plants in half the scenes.

Robin bitterly makes a comment about how she breaks out into hives whenever her aunt lies, prompting Dan to immediately stick up for Kinder. See, Dan’s the eternal optimist, and would never think bad about someone, while Robin remains cynical. Kinder continues her speech, discussing her love of babies. Robin scoffs and says, “She likes babies. She loves money.” Get it yet? I wouldn’t want to keep going if this film’s Subtlety Hammer hadn’t bashed your skull in, yet.

Upon completing her speech, Dr. Kinder welcomes the crowd to Joy World, and the entire wall behind her lifts up to reveal the park. Even for a big corporation like Baby Genius, isn’t a mammoth rising wall just a little much? We now switch to the interior of the park, where overly excited children run down a walkway to try out the Canyon Blaster ride. One kid can clearly be heard shouting, “Hey, a roller coaster!” Yep, ya don’t see many of those anymore. Hey look, a dog! Far out!

In another area of the park, Dr. Kinder is leading a mob of reporters on a tour. While admission is free for children, she says, all adult ticket fees go to her many orphanages around the world. “Is this a terrific woman or what?!” squeals Kinder’s apparent publicist in an obscene display of overacting. The crowd bursts into applause, while the audience sits at home, nodding and thinking philosophical thoughts like, “Ah, but they do not know the truth! She may have them fooled, but I know she’s quite dastardly!”

Of course, our boring couple is at the back of the crowd so Robin can make more bile-filled comments about her hatred for Kinder. According to her, the doctor stole many of Dan’s ideas on baby development. Seeing as Dan is the Human Doormat, he doesn’t seem to care. Man, you’d have to wonder what would happen if this guy’s house caught on fire. “Eh, it’s fixable.”

Over the P.A. system an announcer asks, “Has anyone lost a baby? A very big baby?” He’s talking about Baby Bunty, one of Joy World’s mascots and quite possibly the most badly designed character I have ever seen in my short life. The kid is absolutely hideous, and standing at seven feet tall he looks like some sort of deformed, basement dwelling mutant. No one would find this mascot cute in the real world, but, since we’re in the Baby Geniuses universe, the park goers are delighted by his presence. Not surprisingly, Robin explodes in another temper tantrum, claiming Kinder stole Bunty’s design from one of Dan’s books. Good lord, Robin, enough already! Take a pill!

Dr. Kinder informs the crowd on how everything in the park is controlled by the staff in the main command center. Huh? Why in the world would a theme park, especially one described as being the largest indoor attraction in America, be completely operated from a single station? Sorry, but it doesn’t make much sense to me.

In the command center, a handful of extras scurry about in an attempt to make themselves look busy. A can of Diet Coke is displayed prominently on the desk, causing me to run out to the concession stand and buy a cup of the wonderfully refreshing beverage. One guy speaks into a microphone and activates Baby Bunty’s voice, which sounds extremely scary and almost demon-like. Would anyone be captivated by this monstrosity? The wacky-o-meter skyrockets when the blokes in the command center activate Bunty’s burp feature. Kinder even cracks a joke about changing the diapers of such a large baby. Oh, please, no more! My sides! They bleed with amusement!

The announcer comes back on the P.A. to tell the children about Robotic Santa and his Robotic Elves being available at the Robotic North Pole. And my Robotic Butt is getting really numb sitting on my Robotic Couch as I watch this terrible movie. Move it along, people! Oh, but we have to listen to the Announcer talk about how all of the robots are controlled in the central command center. Hey, did you hear? All of the robots are controlled in the central command center. I wonder if such a fact could come up later? Maybe we should hear them talk about the robots being controlled in the central command center ONE MORE TIME so we can all understand!

After a short exchange about kids getting their own robotic zoo animals to play with, we switch from Joy World to Robin and Dan driving to their home in a gray van. Gray, huh? Maybe they picked gray because they’re so bland! Robin, continuing her as yet one note performance, prattles on about Kinder stealing from Dan’s various books, projects, and how she might even swipe his discovery of baby pre-language. Plot point! Major plot point, ladies and gentlemen.

Not content to just complain about her aunt, Robin points out their financial troubles. These lines are delivered just as the van pulls up their driveway so the audience can get a good look at their immense house. They even own a school bus which sits in the front yard! Yes, clearly they’re one week away from picking up food stamps.

We quickly learn of Dan and Robin’s day care center, since there are about 300 babies crawling around their backyard. An old African American woman scampers by them in pursuit of Lenny, who is played by none other than Don DeLuise. Aside from his role as the Magic Mirror in Happily Ever After, I’d have to say this is his most embarrassing performance to date. He’s playing a character who does next to nothing and serves no purpose, kind of like a pillow in a padded room.

The woman asks Lenny where he’s taking the two babies he’s holding, one of which is Sylvester’s twin brother, Whit. He asserts he is not holding children but rather plumbers, and thus they are going to fix the leaky sink together. Oh, Don DeLuise, did you do some improv there? You are hilarious! Lenny kisses the woman and heads for the kitchen. I never did figure out how these two characters were related to one another. I don’t think they’re married, and there was no indication they belonged to the same family, so for all I know they just work together at the day care center. So why are they kissing? Are they dating? Someone help me out here!

Back at the Baby Genius building, Dr. Heep and Dr. Kinder are marching down a hallway with their fellow workers. Eventually these extras are dismissed after reporting profit margins and other razzamatazz so our villains can speak privately in an elevator. Heep explains how out of 500 babies studied, a total of eight showed the qualities of a genius. Kinder’s not very happy about the low turnout, saying she only funds her many orphanages so more geniuses can be located. A panel lifts on the wall of the elevator revealing a hidden compartment. Kinder has her hand scanned while Heep inputs a numeric code. Technology! Industry! Sorry.

Kinder also mentions the secret lab, which, I have to point out again, stops being a secret when you call it the secret lab. Why not call the lab “the bathroom” or “the broom closet”? I would love to see a scene where Kinder and Heep are discussing their secret lab during a cocktail party only to have everyone around them start asking questions. “You have a secret lab, Kinder? Why do you refer to it as the secret lab? Are you stupid? Hey, let’s talk about things we already know! You’re a woman! I’m a man! Ain’t this fun?” I know, I’m getting off track. Must, keep, plugging…along!

Stepping out of the elevator, Kinder wishes for more babies like Sylvester, citing his attempted escape and calling him a “little crackerjack” in the process. Did someone get paid to write the phrase “little crackerjack” down at some point? Because if so, then I demand the person be hunted down and mugged this instant.

The two doctors walk through the Hyper-Developmental Habitat, which makes Kinder wonder why anyone would want to leave such a delightful home. Well, first of all, the place looks like something Tim Burton would draw on a napkin just before wiping his face clean of buffalo wing sauce. Basically the walls are painted with grotesque purple skies and clouds, and in the center are some cold, ominous geometric figures. One is a swan, another is an egg, and so on. Yes, I’m confused why anyone would want to flee from this acid-induced Salvador Dali painting myself.

Heep makes a point to warn Kinder of Sylvester’s tendency to plot, since the kid may be creating his next escape as they speak. We then see our hero locked inside some bizarre glass cube, where he’s sneaking a toy screwdriver into his booty. Aw, how coot! “There’s no one like him!” Kinder sighs with envy. “Maybe one,” murmurs Heep.

Cut to the kitchen of Dan and Robin’s house, where Lenny is trying to fix the sink as Whit and his female companion are watching. Lenny asks for the monkey wrench while water hilariously spurts in his face. Predictably, Sylvester picks up the wrench and drops it on Lenny’s crotch. Please, movie, don’t make me think about Don DeLuise’s swollen, wounded genitals. What did I ever do to you? By the way, this scene prompts Stock Laugh #3 and #4, and when they’re only a few seconds apart from one another you start to realize how freakishly similar they sound. Were there no other baby laughs on the 1001 Sound Effects CD? Lenny delivers a drastically unfunny monologue comparing the babies to monkeys, because, see, Whit threw a monkey wrench on his groin. Are you red from the inability to breathe because you’re laughing too much yet?

At the secret (sic) lab, another baby is pounding on a keyboard. While Kinder calls it racket, Heep says it may be a masterpiece. He then uses a computer to rearrange the notes so they form a brilliant symphony, but couldn’t you potentially do the same thing with any series of random notes? I don’t see how this proves babies are geniuses, really. In a small moment of unintentional amusement, the baby stops playing the keyboard but the music keeps going for another second. Ah, continuity, how you make me smile.

Upon seeing the jumbled notes become actual music, Kinder hypothesizes how baby talk might be real conversation. The doctors walk over to another cube where a new tyke is writing on a piece of paper. Her scribbles are analyzed and then deemed to be the ancient and forgotten language of cuneiform. Oh, give me a break! I could close my eyes and make any mess of lines and you could say they were cuneiform!

In the next cube, brain activity is being monitored while two babies talk to one another in their language. I’m not even going to get into the specifics here, since Heep’s dialogue about the different areas of the brain is very dry. To cut to the chase, just know Heep and Kinder have a theory about babies having stored knowledge which they received from each generation which came before them. Thusly, they should know the secrets of the universe. Fascinating? Maybe, to a select few. Entertaining when put in the medium of a film meant for kids? Absolutely not!

After this scene has successfully ground the audience into submission, the babies are plucked from their cubist prisons and put together in one room. Kinder scuttles about, asking what they could be discussing today. She lists a bunch of complicated subjects, assuming her team of geniuses is talking about something important. When she comes to Sly she eerily runs a finger up his spine and asks him to enlighten her.

This is the moment when we first get to see the babies talk to one another, and the computer animated lips are more than a little distracting. Even more off-putting, however, is when the filmmakers choose not to animate the babies’ lips and let us hear dialogue when their mouths are closed or half-open. Listen guys, if you’re going to spend good money on CGI lips, then at least take the time to use them consistently!

So Sly asks his fellow babies if he should enlighten Kinder, and they tell him to go ahead. Uh-oh, here comes the Humor Train! He turns around, looks at Kinder, and suggests she put a bow tie on her butt if she insists on talking out her ass all the time. This sends the kids into hysterics, while one of them doesn’t get the joke. I’m wondering why someone felt it necessary to have a baby say the word “ass,” but I digress. Wait, where’d the train go? Did I miss it? Pooh.

The baby who didn’t understand the whole bow tie gag starts defending Kinder, claiming she is training them to lead a new world order. Sly tells this character, whose name is Basil, not to “have a cow.” Sly likes to throw out these little references to pop culture about five times every nanosecond, so you better get used to them now. Basil berates Sly for using slang, claiming television has ruined his brilliant mind. In response, Sly does an impression of Heep, walking about the room with his arms behind his back. The real Heep watches this display with grim bitterness (join the party), and after a moment he snaps his fingers to make Sly sit down.

Stock Laugh #5 is heard as we switch to the house, where Robin has just entered the flooded kitchen. There’s going to be quite a lot of switching from the house to the laboratory, so just be prepared for the whiplash. Lenny reports how, along with the busted pipe, the power has gone out as well. This seems to happen quite a lot around this home, making me wonder how they manage to do anything.

Hey, quick question. Who’s bored with all of the characters up to this point? Well, you’re in luck, because there’s a brand new person to talk about! Too bad he’s just as uninteresting as everyone else. His name is Dickie (yep, Dickie), and when he first walks into the kitchen he’s wearing a pink tie-dyed shirt, pink jacket, assorted spiked jewelry, and sporting a pink haircut. Dickie, who calls himself Ice Pick, acts very tough and hard core, but we shall soon learn he has a heart of crap. Eh, I mean, gold.

Despite his obscene fashion sense, Robin states she is not going to fire Dickie from his job at the day care center, so he should grab a mop to clean up the water. The babies suggest Dickie use his head as a mop, which prompts Stock Laugh #6. Argh! I can’t listen to the laughter anymore! My ears are starting to corrode!

When Lenny asks Robin why they put up with Dickie’s bad attitude, she says it’s because he is their nephew and they promised his dad they would make sure he wasn’t fired from at least one job. Well, that’s all well and good, even though this is no where near important to the plot and thus can only be viewed as pointless character development. What are these people going to do next, start talking about what their favorite foods and bands are?

Later in the evening, Black Lady presents Robin with the month’s collection of bills and a check for a whopping 38 bucks. Dickie wonders why they just don’t make the day care clients pay off their debts for once, since the babies spend more time with them then they do at their own homes. He then gets in Robin’s face and whines about how one ring from Aunt Kinder’s finger would help support the business for years.

Robin, deciding not to take financial advice from a kid named Dickie, doesn’t pay attention, and instead makes fun of Dickie’s self-given moniker. Her list of more dramatic titles includes Ice Pick the Great, Saint Ice Pick, and so forth. Black Lady then calls Dickie “Nose Pick” and tells him to close a certain hole instead of creating new ones (she’s talking about his mouth, by the way). Ooh, you go girl! Dickie tries to save face by asking if Black Lady just made a hippie joke. A hippie joke?! This woman looks like she could have lived during The Depression!

In another part of the room, Dan films Whit and his sister as they talk to one another. They also think Kinder should help fund the day care, which makes them feel sorry for their do-gooder parents. Whit relates how he tried to subliminally tell Dan to add another wing to the house, since it would increase their disposable income by a factor of four at least. Man, is there anything more entertaining than hearing toddlers discuss economic ventures? I could watch this all day!

Suddenly a look of realization appears on Dan’s face, and he starts babbling about how he understood what Sly said about the “factor of four” thingamabob. Robin becomes very excited while Dickie predictably remains rebelliously doubtful, and they hurry off to watch the tape in another room. Left alone, the babies wonder how Dan could have understood their secret language. I guess they don’t want to be bothered about the secrets of the universe when they could be making jokes a C-rate stand-up comedian would never use.

A scientist at the lab throws Sly into an egg-shaped playroom, telling our hero to either go to sleep or ingest some tasty Valium. You have to love the scientists who threaten kids with pills, I must say. A security guard walks up to the egg holding a mechanical device. “Is that the lock thing?” asks the scientist. “You mean the security bonder?” the security guard chuckles. Oh, tee hee-hee, how those silly scientists get confused over what to call those complicated lock things. Will the zaniness ever end? Seriously, when is it going to end?

Though the adults are confident Sly will not be able to escape, he manages to bust out in under a minute by recording the tones of the bonder’s key pad and simply pressing the corresponding numbers after the scientists leave. He then uses a quickly assembled ray gun to jam the surveillance cameras.

We get a short glimpse at the lab’s security room, where a worker wearing a backwards hat has become confounded by the now defunct cameras. Another man runs over, adjusts the hat so it faces forward, and asks about what happened. You would probably never notice this without watching it closely, but I found the whole hat thing really silly. Did these two actors get together before the shoot and develop what they thought would be a cute character exchange? Are there deleted scenes where these actors return and keep adjusting one another’s hats? This is the kind of stuff DVD commentaries are meant to explain. I’m not asking for a Special Edition, mind you, though I’ll bet it arrives shortly before the sequel’s release (more on this later).

Now free from his egg tomb, Sly tries to convince his friend Lexie to escape along with him. Unfortunately, even after promising to show her a mall, she is too scared to venture into the outside world. This is a very touching scene, much like the finale of Casablanca, only with babies and absolutely no emotional impact whatsoever. Lexie says goodbye and Sly begins the second part of his master plan. Are ya ready? He hides in a cart full of nasty, yellowed diapers! My mistake, he hides in the cart after sniffing the diapers and waxing philosophically, “Eew, diaper gravy!” Wouldn’t want such a wonderful gem to pass you folks by, now would we?

While Sly burrows himself in a pile of feces-ridden cloth, Dan and the others watch his home movie of Whit. While everyone else hears senseless babble, our numbingly resilient Dan insists he heard Whit talk. Dickie, ever the sarcastic sidekick, asks if he can go home, which results in Black Lady doing another stand-up routine. I think she said something about how Dennis Rodman can pull off Dickie’s look because he’s good at basketball. My, how quickly certain jokes become dated.

Sly’s fascinating adventure continues as the woman in charge of the diaper cart stops to talk to the men who run the central command center. Remember the central command center, everyone? One of the men is really, really Southern to the point of being Yosemite Sam, so I guess the actor was trying to develop a fully realized role. Sure, he failed miserably, but at least he tried, right?

The men make a note of how Baby Bunty has been acting up lately, so the woman suggests reconfiguring his tracking system. Hey lady, how about you take care of the poop and pee stains and leave the technology stuff to the people who have degrees? You may not be surprised, but this scene is completely irrelevant and only serves to let Sly learn about how the robots are controlled in the central…well, you know.

Hold on to your hats, because now we’re in a totally different location. Actually, I’m lying, because we’re back at the house! Hurray! A few seconds are spent expositing the idea of how babies forget their stored knowledge upon “crossing over” to adulthood. I know there’s a John Edwards joke her somewhere, but I’m not going to look. Whit tries to lighten things up by telling his sister to say “dada,” which will make Dan go nuts (he’s returned to filming them, by the way). She declines, having already decided on her first words: The Gettysburg Address. ‘Cause she’s a genius, ya know. And how does Whit respond to her joke? By providing us with Stock Laugh #7.


So Whit’s sister ends up saying dada, resulting in Dan freaking out so the soundtrack can play “Joy to the World.” Robin goes similarly cuckoo and runs over to the babies, so Whit’s sister says mama for some more amusement. Has anyone noticed how I haven’t bothered to learn the name of Whit’s sister? Or Black Lady? It’s because I can’t remember hearing them and don’t wanna bother looking them up. Is everyone all right with this decision? Fabulous.

The director makes a very bold move and shoots the next scene…outside! Wow, talk about artistic. A van labeled “P. Oopie Bottoms” sits waiting for the diaper lady and her cart of pungent ka-ka shields. Hey…wait a minute…P. Oopie Bottoms…POOPIE Bottoms! Bah ha-ha-ha! What a fantastically great pun! (sniff) Oh, oh man, I can’t take this constant chuckling for much longer! Must…keep…going!

So the cart is placed inside the van and Sly pokes his head out for some fresh air. The exact same recording of “diaper gravy” is played a second time, even though we can clearly see the kid is not moving his mouth, supposedly because the rule of comedy states how every gag must be repeated. Looking out the window, Sly is awed by the wonders of the big city before asking where all the chicks are located. Do we really need to think of a baby trying to get some action? Do we REALLY? Answer me, movie!

The driver of the van spots Sly in his rear view mirror, but our wily bag of adorable manages to jump out the rear of the vehicle before he can be captured. “Hasta la vista, baby!” he shouts, forcing the corpse of Arnold Schwarzenegger to spin in its grave. Sure, Arnold’s not dead yet, but one can dream, can’t one?

Sly approaches a busy intersection when a slightly older kid walks up. Pay attention here, because this is a little complicated but a really important example of how lazy this movie gets at times. See, the older kid holds his nose, and you hear the diaper gravy line for the third time in a row. I’m assuming we’re expected to think the older kid is saying this line, because Sly’s mouth is not moving at all! He’s grinning! So do these two kids have the same voice? What is going on here?! They couldn’t record another child actor to say the diaper gravy joke?! I hate this friggin’ movie.

Well, Sly decides the best course of action to take at this point would be to run headlong into traffic, and I gotta agree with him. At the same time, Whit gets a funny feeling, like someone is presently scared. This happens a lot, according to Whit’s sister, so I’m chalking it up to the theory of twins having a bizarre, almost occultist bond. Sly is then shown sitting in the road as cars zip by him at 60 mph. Sadly he is not squished like a bug but manages to get to the other side of the road. Speaking of which, how about we turn this movie off and tell Chicken Road Crossing jokes? No? Crap.

Sly ends up in an alley, the kind where hobos are warming their hands by the fires of burning barrels. A large, ferocious looking dog runs up to him and begins barking, only to whimper and run away as the subtitle “Diaper Gravy!!” appears on the screen. I think we can safely retire this joke, don’t you? Pretty please? Even though Sly doesn’t blink at the sight of a bloodthirsty canine, he does start screaming when a bloated, red-faced homeless man lunges out of the shadows and presses his face against plastic wrap. But really, who wouldn’t scream at such a sight? Consequently, Whit starts crying at the exact same time Sly becomes frightened. Are you comprehending the connection yet?

What happens in the next scene? Heep and Kinder tell their staff to find Sylvester. I literally have nothing more to say, since it’s such an unimportant part of the movie.

The homeless man has kidnapped Sly and taken him to a filthy bathroom where he is cleaning him up. The guy mumbles incoherently about getting a reward or perhaps even a ransom, ending his monologue with, “…and if they don’t come through, well, let’s not think about that.” Wow, a vagabond weighing the pros and cons of murdering a small child. Talk about first class family entertainment!

My temples began to throb as Sly paid homage to The Three Stooges by spraying the homeless man in the eyes with a Windex substance, shoving a bar of soap in his mouth, making the “whoop-whoop-whoop” noise, and pushing him with enough force to send him across the room and into one of the bathroom stalls. “Come back when you’re ready to play in the bigs,” Sly says, taking time to mug for the camera. He then comes up with the idea of getting a disguise, and in the following shot he’s wearing the homeless man’s clothes. HOW DID HE GET THE CLOTHES OFF OF A COMATOSE ADULT?!

No one is fooled by our punk’s get-up, as evidenced by a group of extras who give Hobo Sly some questioning looks. “That looked like a kid!” one of them cries. Well, no crap, Sherlock. When they begin to run after Sly, he ditches the drifter garb, along with the cigar he had in his mouth, and tries to find a way of escaping his current pursuers. A cradle is spotted nearby, so he hops inside to come face-to-face with a little girl wearing a pink outfit. Sly orders her to take off her clothes, which leads into the nasty dialogue, “Okay slick, but you could at least take me to dinner.” As if my soul hadn’t been tainted enough by this movie, now I have to endure babies talking about sex?

I found it utterly stupid how the mother pushing this cradle never noticed a second kid at any point, but nevertheless they wind up going to Macy’s Plaza. Inside the mall, Sly hops out of the cradle wearing his female acquaintance’s clothes. “Who designed this dress, Larry, Moe, and Curly?” he asks indignantly. What does that even mean? Who wrote this script? Can I tear out their hair and make them eat it strand by strand? The Continuity Alarm went off as we are shown the little girl wearing Sly’s old clothes and holding the homeless man’s cigar. If you recall, you would know Sly threw the cigar away while being chased by those extras. But hey, what’s funnier than a baby holding a cigar, I ask you? Nothing, mister! My spine crawled when the girl told Sly to call her because she’s listed, a line so demented I should have the person who wrote it be arrested and thrown in jail for the rest of his/her natural life.

Dr. Kinder’s foot soldiers just happen to be patrolling this very mall, passing around a photo of their target to random customers. One Old Woman shakes her head at the photo, but she’ll prove crucial in an importagazmagorical plot point later on, so remember her face! Sly sees the soldiers and decides to keep a low profile by hiding under the Mall Santa’s throne. This kid is a master of stealth!

Don DeLuise proves once again how insane he can be by leading the day care babies up the stairs while singing one the weirdest songs I’ve ever heard. He talks about zoos and animals with white shoes and I don’t know what else, all the while opening and closing an umbrella. Dan and Robin watch their young ones be led away by this madman, leading Mr. Boring to ask about making another addition to the family. When he begins to neck Robin in the most nauseating manner possible, she finally reveals the name of Whit’s sister: Carrie! Thank goodness we weren’t kept in suspense any longer.

See, Whit was adopted because the couple thought they couldn’t have children, and Carrie was sort of a miracle baby. You’re thinking about these two having sex now, aren’t you? I’m having the same problem, it seems. Luckily, Dan goes into this mindless monologue about business jargon and whatnot, so even though this part of the scene is boring at least it doesn’t make my stomach bubble over with disgust. Whoops, my mistake, Dan is now quoting “The Night Before Christmas” and they’re skipping upstairs for some late-night nooky. Barf!

The mall eventually closes down, allowing Sly to have all the stores to himself. He slides under the door of Macy’s in an obscure reference to Indiana Jones, then proclaims his intention to play video games. Uh, where exactly would you find a video game in Macy’s? Despite my initial reservations, he does come upon a Crash Bandicoot display.

“Puttin’ on the Ritz,” a mildly creepy song sung by a guy who probably lurks in attics dressed as a mime, begins a montage of Sly trying on Baby Guess clothes. Man, how many product placements can be in one movie? This is definitely the worst sequence in the film, if only for the special effects. The shot of Sly tap dancing in a tuxedo can only elicit bug-eyed reactions from the viewer, since it looks like no one was even trying to make this look halfway realistic. Sly’s head is actually smaller than the body it’s supposed to be a part of, and the cut-and-paste job results in it not having any visible relationship with the rest of the shot. Could things get any worse? Yep!

After trying on a basketball outfit, some PJs, and a rapper motif, Sly dons a white tuxedo from the 1970s. Can you tell where this is going yet? The soundtrack starts playing the song “Stayin’ Alive,” and Sly is shown pulling off the John Travolta moves from “Saturday Night Fever.” Besides the fact this joke is tired and outdated, the SFX work is actually worse here, if you can believe such a statement. Didn’t anyone look at this scene and think, “Maybe we should try to make this less horrible?” The head is completely out of scale with the midget stunt double and never even moves during the dance. You just see a frozen image of Sly looking bored! Ugh…

Whit, meanwhile, is tossing and turning in his crib. Carrie (it’s fun knowing what her name is, for once) notices her restless sibling. Not knowing what else to show, the director cuts to the mall where Sly is watching Jeopardy. Of course, he knows the answer to the question, while the simple-minded contestant does not. Man, I am so glad we’re being shown all of this footage! It must be extremely critical in understanding the story, and thus deserves to be in the final print of the film instead of trampled underfoot on the cutting room floor.

Speaking of relevance while also adding the idea of non-stop action excitement, how about another scene with Dan and Robin? They’re in bed reading, so either the bump-and-tussle session didn’t last long or never came to fruition. While Dan is trying to have a very deep, intellectual conversation about the Tibetan theory of babies having universal knowledge before “crossing over,” Robin is busy working on her crossword puzzle. She can’t remember what Little Miss Muffet sat on, ya see. When she is told the answer, Robin becomes indignant, asking, “What the hell is a tuffet, anyway?” Mother Goose humor at its finest, I must say.

The shop-‘til-you-drop compulsion has finally been purged from Sly’s little system, so he crawls under the throne once more in a brand new outfit of a blue plaid shirt and glaringly shiny pants. A syrupy sweet melody begins to play at the sight of the twin tots sucking their thumbs peacefully. Aww…kill me.

What would you expect at this point in the movie? One more scene where Kinder and Heep discuss something chokingly boring, such as drywall mechanics? How about the arrival of Dickie in one of his trademark outrageous outfits? Well, the latter will rear its ugly head in just a moment, but for now…DIAPER RODEO! Two compete, one win! Who shall be quicker in the diaper changing department, Dan “The Taco” Robbins or his wife, Robin “Krossword Kombatant” Robbins? My heart races like the jackrabbit during this scene of masterful suspense! Shortly before my capillaries burst, fate makes its judgment call and Robin wins the title of Diaper Highlander. Whew, man, how exciting! Surely diapers be fun, no?

If there are some of you who were not entertained by the idea of a diaper rodeo, then maybe you will be pleased to hear of Dickie’s latest wacky get-up. Now he looks like a Buddhist monk, complete with golden bathrobe, ponytail hairstyle, and mantra chants. Of course, no Crazy Dickie Outfit (copyright pending) can slip by without some classic Black Lady Banter (copyright already held by Sinbad). She dubs him Ice Schtick this time around, lending proof to my theory that someone working on this film truly thought rhyming was the next wave of rib-busting humor.

Robin grabs Whit and announces she is going to do a little Christmas shopping at the mall. Mine brain wonders where thine plot could be going twixt now? If you answered “Macy’s Plaza,” you have more brain cells than anyone involved with this picture. Santa sits down on his regal throne, ready to please the masses, when Sly pops up from under his legs. “What the hell? I think I just had a kid!” he gasps. How many times are people going to say “hell” by the time the credits roll? Place your bets now!

Shortly after Sly spooks Old Saint Nick, Robin and Whit enter the scene. Astute viewers will immediately notice how both of the babies are dressed almost exactly alike, with the only exception being that Sly is not wearing overalls. They are, however, both wearing blue plaid shirts and glaringly shiny jeans! What are the odds? I’ll tell you the odds, mister. The odds are really, really good. So…there.

I hope you weren’t asleep when I mentioned Old Woman earlier (though I wouldn’t blame you), because it’s time for her importagazmagorical moment. Are you ready? She sees Sly and reports him to one of the Baby Co. goons. Ha! Told you it was importa…importagasho…something. Now it seems everyone in the entire mall is looking and pointing at Sly, as if the goons had put the entire tri-state area on alert. Looking for a way to divert attention from himself, Sly holds hands with another baby. I’m astonished this didn’t come with more perverted innuendo, but I should probably count my blessings as they come.

Whit enters a plastic, multi-colored playground, kind of like the ones you would find at a McDonald’s or possibly a Fazoli’s, while Robin waits outside. What happens next blew my socks off with its stunning display of unexpected unexpectedness. See, Sly enters the exact same playground! Gee, I hope they don’t get mixed up! Such a development would be unanticipated, unpredicted, and a bunch of other “un” words.

By this time the goons are slowly moving in on Sly’s location, so our boy is forced to take some defensive maneuvers. First, he sucker punches one of them in the face and belches out Stock Laugh #8. Then he slides down a tube and slams feet first into two more hapless doofs. How does one celebrate such a victory? By releasing Stock Laugh #9 upon the masses! I’m going to start collecting these laughs and store them in a 10-ton box which will eventually be thrown to the bottom of the Bermuda Triangle. But before I do, let’s hear what Sly has to say about his latest triumph. “Hope ya got a kick outta that!” I don’t get it, but okay, sure.

Whit and Sly soon come face-to-face in the playground, scream in shock, start crawling away, look at each other once again, scream once more, and keep crawling. The goons end up nabbing Whit by mistake, stuffing him inside a duffel bag in a brilliant display of subtlety. And absolutely no one at the mall saw this happen and thought it strange? I mean, okay, some of the goons stand around the bag to block the incident somewhat, but come on! When Robin sees Sly come out of the playground, she says, “I thought we dressed you in overalls!” You can’t remember what you put on your own kid? Get help, lady.

The goons take Whit to the lab where the other babies have been lined up to witness “Sly’s” return. Heep is shocked by how his adversary has been reduced to blubbering tears, wondering if “Sly” feels guilty for jeopardizing their great work. Kinder then gives a short speech about how everyone must learn a lesson from “Sly’s” foolish attempt to escape their lab. “Serves him right,” Basil snarls, and the other children chastise him for being cold and unfeeling. Would it be redundant to say I really, really don’t care about these people or what the heck is going on anymore?

When Sly arrives at the Bobbins home, he immediately begins running around like a wild animal, swinging from a rope and doing back flips. Actually, another midget does the back flips, leading me to wonder how many gymnastic midget athletes were employed for the uses of Baby Geniuses. Robin, Dan, and Lenny (the last one’s played by Don, if you forgot) are amazed at how hyper “Whit” is acting, even though they shouldn’t since Robin let the kid have some of her ice cream. “I’ll have a talk with him,” Dan assures the group. Uh, sure, you sit down with your 2-year-old son and have a deep dialogue about how mature persons should behave in public.

Look out, here comes a dose of Lightning Quick Plot Explanation! Carrie cries because she knows something is different about her brother, Whit is placed in the egg cell and the other geniuses worry about his well-being, Carrie confronts Sly about him not being her true sibling, Sly frames her for cocaine trafficking the next day (not really, but it would have been a great twist), Whit tells the lab babies about his predicament, Basil rants about how Kinder will be able to do a living cross evaluation upon realizing who “Sly” really is and thus prove the superiority of the Kinder method, Heep shows Kinder a brain scan proving “Sly” is not “Sly” but actually Whit, she’s angry at first but becomes ecstatic due to the cross evaluation thingie, and she decides to visit the Bobbins while the scientists do some tests on Whit. GASP! Lord all mighty was that a lot of plot! But at least we got it all out of the way and can feel content knowing we covered all our bases. Well, I can at least. I don’t know about you. Are you content?

Wiping the sweat off my brow, I shall now ease my plot pace to a steady jog. Basil is still defending Kinder’s actions, thinking she will eventually return Whit to his proper home. The others, however, think differently. Their conversation is cut short when Teddy, whose name I had never heard until this point, begins crossing over. She gets this glazed, drunken expression on her face and begins swaying back and forth almost as if she threw back one too many Jello shots the night before. It’s pretty funny, but the moment passes.

When Dr. Kinder arrives at the front doors of the Bobbins home, Lenny runs away in terror while making a pathetic joke about preparing witch-shaped pancakes for the children. You should really write that one down, DeLuise, or else someone might steal it and end up on The Tonight Show. Dan tries to be friendly by explaining his pre-language discoveries to Kinder, which makes her very uneasy. She suggests taking “Whit” to the lab so Dan can further his research at a faster rate. Since this is not a good idea, Sly grabs Dan by the face and tries to reveal Kinder’s dastardly deeds. The Steve Guttenberg-wannabe only understands a few words, unfortunately, so nothing is done.

Hallelujah, hallelujah, I finally learned the true name of Black Lady! Here name is Margo, glorious, glorious Margo! Sure, I could have spent 30 seconds looking it up on the Internet Movie Database, but where’s the mystery in such investigation? I say let the information show itself like a rabbit peaking out of its den on a cold, blistery November morning. Margo takes “Sly” (I’m starting to run out of “”’s here) just as Kinder makes her hurried, frustrated goodbye. Outside in her limo she screams into a phone, claiming if Dan discovers their plot she and everyone else will go to jail. Because as we all know, a judge will always take the testimony of a two-year-old child seriously. Kinder tells Heep to send over some of her goons so they can nab Sly once and for all.

A truck labeled “Power Company” shows up at the house driven by two orange-suited gentlemen. One of them shimmies up a telephone poll, and seconds later Lenny is flabbergasted when the power shuts off. He discusses the predicament with Margo until Dickie steps into the room, this time showing off a sun which has been painted on his stomach, a grossly oversized nose ring, and a tattoo of a stop sign on his forehead. Please don’t ask me to make a joke right now, because I feel very tired. Just know Dickie is trying to get fired yet again, but his plan does not work. Sigh…

Seeing how “Whit” is acting depressed, the day care babies ask if he wants to explain the situation. The group begins chatting about the mix-up, and Dickie inexplicably tries to listen in on their conversation. Downstairs the power company goons have arrived and are asking Margo to let them in for some inspections. While the other babies hide, Sly runs to the attic looking for random household objects with which to create Home Alone-style traps. What does he end up using? A ski and miniature iron. Perfect! He places the ski on a narrow staircase and keeps the iron in hand until Goon #1 shows up.

My blood pressure naturally rose during the following scene because of how pompous and pretentious the dialogue becomes. See, Goon #1 realizes Sly has set a trap for him, saying something to the fact of, “You expect to me to step over that ski so you can step on it and hit me in the gonads? You watch too many bad movies, kid.” I’m sorry, but this movie is no where near good enough to reference its own hokiness! I will not allow such a thing to go by unchallenged.

Goon #1, thinking he has everything figured out, steps to the side of the ski, but when Sly hurls the iron at his head he’s forced to move so, you guessed it, his legs are over the gonad-crushing object. Slam, bam, Stock Laugh #10. Carrie tells the day care babies how Sly hit the goon in the “forbidden zone,” and the boys grab their crotches in universal pain. God, now I’m talking about baby crotches. THANKS MOVIE! Goon #1 waddles back to the front of the house, moaning in anguish, so Goon #2 tells Margo it must have been a work-related injury and goes upstairs to investigate.

Baby Geniuses further tries to reduce my molars to powder by having Goon #2 refer to himself as Sly’s “worst nightmare” so Sly can reference the bad dialogue. The entire movie is made up of bad dialogue! You can’t say one line is bad when every festering minute makes you want to throw up to the point of blacking out! Uh…ooh…feeling woozy. I, I think I’m better now, though. And since the whole “ski to the balls” gag was comic gold, we get to see it again in its entirety with Goon #2. I’m just sorry there weren’t 15 goons so we could watch this joke play out for hours and hours.

At this point I wanted some good news, so I checked how much film I had left to sit through and was overjoyed to learn it was a little over half an hour. The home stretch began with the now sterile goons limping out of the house to their van. Kinder spots their exit from the limo and tells Heep to pack up everything at the lab so they can make a quick getaway.

Inside the house, Sly questions Carrie about the odd feelings Whit used to get, then instructs the day care babies to sit in a circle. We’re then taken to the lab, where the employees are dragging equipment and other items away, and in a surprising attempt to clear some confusion, Heep asks why they’re panicking. See, he thinks they have nothing to worry about since Dan is the only one who can understand babies. Kinder explains how if Dan and Robin take Sly to a hospital to check his fingerprints, they’ll be able to get a search warrant for the lab in order to locate Whit. There, now I feel better. At least one inane plot point has been made somewhat more understandable!

The laboratory batch of babies watches curiously as Whit sits down and scrunches his face up in order to concentrate. This somehow allows him to tell Sly about Kinder’s plot to move them out of the building. Sly informs his brother he will rescue them before they’re taken away, which Whit then relates back to his lab peers. He asks Basil which side he will fight for, prompting the little runt to shout, “Let’s kick butt!” Oh, don’t tempt me, movie.

Dickie has been trying to listen in on what the babies are saying this entire time, leaning against the door in such an exaggerated fashion he looks like a silent movie actor. Whit yanks open the door so Dickie can fall humorously to the ground, and the babies burst into a fit of laughter. I would say another Stock Laugh is heard during this scene, but since so many other kids are heard giggling it’s hard to determine. Let the court be aware, then, that I shall file this instance under Possible Stock Laughter. Objection! Sustained! You can’t handle the truth! … Where am I right now?

A very tedious scene (which is very different from all the other tedious scenes in the film because I started counting carpet fibers) involving Sly and Whit attempting to train their respective gangs of babies follows. The kids try to do jumping jacks, break boards, and crawl under nets, but they’re not very good at anything. Frustrated, the twins concentrate once more to figure out a new plan together. Whit then asks the lab babies about what parents fear about kids the most. No, not dirty diapers, but rather their intelligence! I still don’t get why Sly is a master of kung-fu while the other Baby Co. kids can barely do jumping jacks, but I refuse to rewind the tape to figure out the answer.

With a new tactic in mind, Sly takes the kids inside the house to find Lenny asleep on the couch. Dickie, of course, is close by, since he is apparently fascinated by the exploits of toddlers. Sly hypnotizes Lenny and tells him to take the babies to the lab, among other things. Dickie is also hypnotized, so we get many shots of him picking his nose and wiggling his tongue as Lenny does the same. Man, the humor supply just doesn’t run out when it comes to this movie. Margo eventually walks into the room and wakes Lenny up, telling him to get the children ready so he can drop them off at their various homes. She then finds Dickie, still hypnotized, and is rightly flabbergasted by his wacky behavior. Upon telling him to “hop to it,” Margo watches the poor kid hop away like a bunny rabbit. Yes boy, hop. Hop away into the land of dramatic obscurity…

The babies begin to grab their coats for the trip to Baby Co., but Carrie decides to stay behind, stating she has a job to do. When Robin and Dan arrive at the house, proudly proclaiming how they got their loan from the bank (finally, my palms can stop sweating), the only ones there are Margo and Carrie. They start receiving calls from different parents, demanding to know why their children haven’t been dropped off yet. Mystified, Dan calls Lenny on the official Bus Phone to see what’s going on. Lenny and Dickie both recite a line about how they have a very important errand at Baby Co. in a droning, mechanical style of voice. Hey, not much different from their real acting, eh?

Carrie manages to tell Dan all about how Sly and Whit were mixed up and the plan to move all of the babies to Liechtenstein (though the country was never mentioned before, so how she could know about it I’m not very certain). Back at the lab, Kinder marches by the camera complaining about how she hates Liechtenstein. Then why are you going there, you nut job? Is it the only country which openly welcomes evil scientists and their experimental babies?

While speeding toward the lab in their van, Dan tries to tell a very mannish 911 operator about how his son was kidnapped. Now, any real person would leave out the details concerning talking babies and secret trips to Liechtenstein, focusing instead on the whole “my son has been taken by his Aunt” angle. But Dan is a complete buffoon, so he manages to make the operator think he’s off his rocker. Robin isn’t any better, since her way of attracting cops to Baby Co. actually involves threatening to blow the place up. Yep, she calls the police and tells them a bomb has been put in the building and they plan to set it off. Talk about post-9/11 humor!

Kinder, Heep, and the babies are just about to leave when they notice two of the guards have been hypnotized as well. You can tell because they speak like drones and end their sentences by blowing raspberries at Kinder. Sly then shows up to taunt the scientists before hopping on a toy motorbike and telling his cohorts to take their positions. “I’ll be in the control center!” he tells them. Hey! The control center, AKA the central command center! I wonder what he could do in such a place?

Upon entering the central command center (or CCC as it shall now be called), Sly randomly shouts, “Show me the money!” Wow, a reference to Jerry McGuire! What’s he going to say next? Word to your mother? Get jiggy with it? We must make this movie more ‘90s, dag gummit! And in case you were enjoying the sunshine or spending time with your families during my previous rants, the CCC allows Sly to take control of the Joy World robots. These include a Santa Claus, some elves, Baby Bunty, an alien, and one freakish clown. I’m especially unnerved by these characters because they’re actually actors in costumes pretending to be robots. I hope they got paid a pretty penny for flushing their careers down the toilet.

Kinder, meanwhile, tells her henchmen to ready a helicopter for their escape. However, Sly cuts the power so the lab babies can sneak away. They do this easily, since they’re not even strapped into the chairs they were being towed around in from the past few shots. No wonder Kinder and Heep can’t keep anything under control! What follows is an extremely long list of unfunny gags involving the robots, the babies, and miscellaneous goon characters. Baby Bunty sucker punches some of the bad guys, the alien shoots real lasers at Heep and Kinder (I’m sure such technology wouldn’t be at all dangerous in a theme park), and an elf knees someone in the groin. When Sly sees the last moment take place, we are forced to endure Stock Laugh #11. Just be glad to know this will be the last laugh of its kind you will ever hear. Huzzah!

Her empire crumbling before her very eyes, Kinder does what she does best: overact. She raises her fists to the heavens as the camera pulls back dramatically, and screams, “SYL-VES-TER!” Dennis! John Boy! Gadget! Stella! McCloud! Of course, Sly can’t let the moment pass without another lame reference to the ‘90s, so he delivers the line, “Oh behave, baby!” Hand me that tire iron, will you? Thanks a bunch. * THUNK *

Even more zany antics unfold onscreen, including Heep getting trapped on one of the roller coasters and the babies using remote-controlled animals to terrorize the goons. We’re expected to believe one goose is supposed to be a robot, though it’s clearly a live animal. Think I’m getting picky at this point? Tough!

Whit faces off against yet another batch of goons, flipping one into a fountain before being completely ambushed. He’s saved when Basil and two other kids rope swing Tarzan-style onto the scene, kicking the remaining doofs into the fountain. The special effects are especially awful here, since the cut-out heads look like bad colored pencil sketches clumsily glued onto the bodies of horse jockeys. I dare anyone to watch this scene and not let their lungs collapse from laughing so hard.

With the battle finally over, it’s now time for another sappy moment. Whit peers into one of the security cameras (which are monitored by Sly in the CCC) and holds his hand up to the lens. Sly then presses his hand against the corresponding TV screen and they smile affectionately. Are they communicating through virtual touch now? What the heck am I watching?!

Kinder proceeds to sneak up on Whit and stuff him inside a sack, much to my delight, though Sly is devastated by his loss. She then delivers your standard Evil Speech before spying Basil and saying, “Et tu, Basil?” I bet someone thought they were pretty clever for writing that line, and to them I say, “You may have an English degree, but you’re still a complete moron. Now go slap your parents for me, okay? Thanks a bundle.”

Sly meets Lexie and Basil out by the roller coaster looking groggy and light-headed. “Sly, I knew you’d come back for me!” Lexie coos. “Every time kid,” he sighs. I really, REALLY don’t care about these characters, especially Lexie, who has been on screen a whole three minutes during this entire movie, so you can imagine how impatient I’ve become with this blasted garbage heap. Maybe if there hadn’t been 20 kids to keep track of, I wouldn’t have this problem, but there ya go.

When Dan and Robin show up at the park, Sly tells them about the helicopter while slowly beginning to cross over. So the Dynamically Dull Duo run up eight flights of stairs to the roof, where Kinder has already handed Whit to one of the chopper pilots. She manages to grab onto a ladder hanging from the vehicle but is stopped by Dan, who grabs her ankles action-hero style. After a short struggle, however, he topples all of ten feet to the ground in a slow motion shot (I’m guessing the filmmakers were trying to add some sort of drama here, but we all know how good they are at everything else).

Another helicopter and a squad of police cars appear on the scene to get things under control, but Kinder still refuses to give up even when Robin tries yanking her off the ladder. Soon they’re on the ground, and Robin is threatening to punch her aunt if she even dares to move. It’s here we learn Kinder is not actually Robin’s aunt, as she was adopted at the age of two, so Robin is allowed to punch our villain in the face without a hint of remorse. Yes! Violence! More violence, I say! Bwa ha, ha…I think my Lord of the Flies side is starting to take over.

Whit is taken out of the Baby Co. helicopter by a cop, and when he asks if it’s Robin’s child she says, “No, it’s my son!” What’s the difference, you ignoramus cow? She grabs her son/non-child and runs over to a woozy Dan so they can allow the orchestra to play some cheesy, heartwarming music. Whit doesn’t seem to care much about his dad, though, deciding it’s more important to go over and talk with Sly. They share some dialogue, Sly crosses over, Robin stares at them lovingly, and I convince a tiger to eat my feet with a side of French dressing. You like, Mr. Orange Stripes?

But wait…what’s this? Oh, oh my God. It’s the last scene! I can tell it’s the last scene because everything is colorful and happy and sunny! Yes! Oh, the sweet nectar of arriving at the last scene of one of the worst movies ever made. Thank you, sweet Lord in heaven! The last scene takes place at the Bobbins home, where Dan has a bandage on his head and is still looking a bit weary. I guess he’s had amnesia for the past few days, because he’s just now recalling random pieces of what has happened over the past 90 minutes. Thinking he can still learn the secrets of the universe, Dan asks his children to fill him in on everything, but they’ve already crossed over. Oh well!

Dickie, Lenny, and Margo smile at each other stupidly during these last few moments, and it’s plain to see how Dickie is now wearing “traditional” teenage clothes. Aren’t you glad he eventually came around and is now a productive member of the soul-crushing day care society? I know I am! Now if only Don DeLuise would burst into flames, I could die a happy fellah.

Robin tries to console her husband, saying this is how things are meant to be. Yep, kids cross over, adults pay taxes, and I sob uncontrollably. “You wanna see the secret of life? Take a look.” She then points to Carrie, and a country song starts playing. But not just any country song, oh no. This movie feels it necessary to subject us to a Randy Travis tune. One so awful my gums recede just trying to form the words which describe its destructive power. The song continues to play over a TWO MINUTE long montage of clips from earlier in the film. Why are you torturing me, movie? Did you expect me to care for these kids so much that a montage would be the only way for me to say goodbye to their adorable little mugs? I hate you! I hate you and everything you stand for! Make the montage stop, please!

The montage stops long after Hades has frozen over, and the last thing we’re shown is Sly walking away from the camera, mumbling about how he won’t appear in the sequel for less than $20 million. Why is it the worst movies always manage to find a way to hint at a sequel? Worse yet, can you believe this movie is actually going to get a sequel?! Yes, despite objections from Congress, the Senate, and the United Nations, someone decided to greenlight SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2. Expect it to hit theaters August 27, or take my advice and run for the nearest bomb shelter until the radiation wears off. For more eye crust-inducing information on this cinematic abomination, visit these sites:

At IMDb – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0270846/
The First Trailer – http://www.joblo.com/movietrailers2Sr.htm
Sony Official Site – http://www.sonypictures.com/movies/superbabiesbabygeniuses2/

I’d like to thank anyone who is still reading my review at this point. If you managed to convince your butt that sitting through 22 pages of talking babies, Christopher Lloyd, demonic robots, third-rate computer effects, tear-inducing jokes, and more was a marginally good idea, I tip my hat to you brave souls. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go dunk my head in a tank of ice cold water and piranhas.

Hey, now I get it! “Hope ya got a kick outta that!” It’s funny! No, no it’s not…so sad…

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