The Bye Bye Man
The Bye Bye Man is the kind of film that is so boring and bereft of anything of possible interest that it becomes infuriating.
Bad films are easy to make, but a film as unpleasant as "Baby Geniuses'' achieves a kind of grandeur. And it proves something I've long suspected: Babies are cute only when they're being babies. When they're presented as miniature adults (on greeting cards, in TV commercials or especially in this movie), there is something so fundamentally wrong that our human instincts cry out in protest.
Oh, you can have fun with a baby as a movie character. "Look Who's Talking'' (1989) was an entertaining movie in which we heard what the baby was thinking. "Baby's Day Out'' (1994), with its fearless baby setting Joe Mantegna's pants on fire, had its defenders. But those at least were allegedly real babies. "Baby Geniuses'' is about toddlers who speak, plot, scheme, disco dance and beat up adults with karate kicks. This is not right.
The plot: Kathleen Turner plays a woman with a theory that babies can talk to one another. She funds a secret underground lab run by Christopher Lloyd to crack the code. Her theory is based on the Tibetan belief that children have Universal Knowledge until they begin to speak--when their memories fade away.
This is an old idea, beautifully expressed by Wordsworth, who said, "Heaven lies about us in our infancy.'' If I could quote the whole poem instead of completing this review, believe me, we'd all be happier. But I press on. The movie involves a genius baby named Sly, who escapes from the lab and tries to organize fellow babies in revolt. The nauseating sight of little Sly on a disco floor, dressed in the white suit from "Saturday Night Fever'' and dancing to "Stayin' Alive,'' had me pawing under my seat for the bag my Subway Gardenburger came in, in case I felt the sudden need to recycle it.