Awfully Good: Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
With KICK ASS 2 opening this week, we take a look at some other young superheroes…
Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2 (2004)
Director: Bob Clark
Stars: Jon Voight, Scott Baio, Vanessa Angel
A team of creepy talking toddlers must save the world from Jon Voight.
SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 is currently ranked #1 on IMDB's Bottom 100 list and, while I've probably sat through more painful films, it's hard to deny it the infamous distinction. It's bafflingly bad. Or to put it in terms more appropriate to its subject matter, it's a cinematic abortion on every level.
Even worse, it's the final film directed by Bob Clark, the man who gave us such influential movies as BLACK CHRISTMAS, PORKY'S and A CHRISTMAS STORY. Though Clark did fall in to direct-to-DVD schlock during his later years (he's also responsible for the Chevy Chase-starring KARATE DOG), it's a shame to see a clearly talented filmmaker end up making a movie with CGI babies and Scott Baio.
It was Father's Intuition that told Joe his son had discovered self-gratification.
Because I don't completely hate myself, I haven't seen the first BABY GENIUSES movie (hopefully there's no continuing plot threads I'm missing out on), but it's clear that this series only exists because some asshole producer was doing lines one day and said "Hey, wouldn't it be funny if we used the talking animal effects from BABE on babies?" It's not. It's not even funny for thirty seconds in those god-awful E-Trade commercials and it sure as hell isn't entertaining for 88 minutes in this waste of celluloid.
Electro Jr…. Not as powerful, but better hair.
What sounds like gibberish baby talk to adults is secretly a sophisticated language that only the littlest ones can understand. (Apparently, "goo goo ga ga" is actually Newborn for "That creates a paradox which defies rational elucidation.")The film follows four inexplicably ethnically diverse brothers and sister who get involved with a child superhero named the Kahuna, who "protects orphans and children around the world." The Kahuna drinks a green chemical and gains Hulk-like strength, Flash-like speed, Spidey-like crawling abilities and Jackie Chan-like martial arts skills. This leads to many wonderful, realistic sequences where the filmmakers use CGI and a little person to pull off the baby fighting sequences. And even though the actor who plays the Kahuna seems to be around 7 or 8 years old, but they still feel the need to dub all of his lines.
Roman Polanski's Chuck E. Cheese was an instant success.
The Kahuna takes the four babies to his underground lair, which is one of the weirdest sets I've ever seen in any movie. It's full of life-size holograms of bears and Groucho Marx to entertain Kahuna when he's not taking liquid steroids. It has a yoga studio where he can mediate while floating in the air. There's a police station set that only exists so Kahuna can call the babies' parents to tell them, "Hey, I'm taking your kids for a few days, but it's okay, I'm a cop. Look at my office." And then there's the Imagination Station, which analyzes "the real you" and turns you in to an appropriate superhero for your personality. If you guessed, "Hey, I bet those four ethnically diverse babies go in to the Imagination Station and become superheroes and help Kahuna fight crime!" then congratulations—you're automatically a screenwriter on par with the man who wrote this movie. The four babies become the super smart Brain Boy, the super strong Baby Courageous, the balltastic Bouncing Boy (who gets the legendary baby line, "Can a brother get some water?"), and Cupid Girl, who shoots arrows at henchmen and makes them fall in love with each other. God, I hate this film.
Hawkeye's daughter took after her dad in that her superpowers were completely useless.
Who's career could possibly be sad enough that they would agree to star in what is clearly GARBAGE: THE MOVIE? Well, Scott Baio obviously. Also, Vanessa Angel, who you might remember from KINGPIN and the "Weird Science" TV show. Justin Chatwin from WAR OF THE WORLDS and the Awfully Good DRAGONBALL: EVOLUTION appears in one of his first roles, though it should've been a warning. There are also "celebrity" cameos by Whoopi Goldberg and the boyband O-Town.
But nothing comes close to the severe depression that is Jon Voight's performance in SUPERBABIES as Nazi captain Cane turned media mogul Bill Biscane. I don't know what accent he was attempting here but it's somehow even worse than the one he used in ANACONDA. His big evil plan is to take over TV around the world and add subliminal messages to buy his products. (Um, they already do that. It's called commercials.) And keep in mind this is 2004, the same year Voight made NATIONAL TREASURE with Nicolas Cage. I have no idea why he would star in this movie. It's almost as if it was a cry for help regarding his strained relationship with daughter Angelina Jolie. ("Please answer my calls, Angelina! For the love of God, I'm starring in the BABY GENIUSES sequel.")
All the actors had the same reaction on their final day of shooting.
If I have to say something not completely negative about this movie, it's this: I can't even begin to fathom how difficult it was to film, trying to corral so many toddlers in one shot and make it look like they were "acting." But still, I'm sure that was less torturous than actually sitting through the finished product.
"You may forever have the body of a child, you know. But you'll always have the heart of a hero." And other gems.
The "best" of the toddler action scenes and fights.
Take a shot or drink every time:
- There's a cameo
- The Kahuna drinks green stuff
- You notice a CGI child or vehicle
- They clearly use a midget as a stuntman
- A child quotes CASABLANCA
- Jon Voight randomly makes the crowd count down from 55
- Someone gets kicked in the Forbidden Zone
Thanks to Martin and Ghyslaine for suggesting this week's movie!
|Extra Tidbit:||This year sees three new sequels to this franchise: Baby Geniuses and the Treasures of Egypt, Baby Geniuses and the Mystery of the Crown Jewels, and Baby Geniuses and the Space Baby. And they all star Jon Voight.|