Reviewed by: Douglas Downs
|Featuring:||Jon Voight, Scott Baio, Vanessa Angel, Justin Chatwin, Skyler Shaye|
|Distributor:||Columbia Pictures (Sony Pictures)|
“Meet the new generation of superheros”
The year was 1999 and Dr. Elana Kinder (Kathleen Turner) and Dr. Heap (Christopher Lloyd) were working for BABYCO, the world’s leading manufacturer of baby products. That was their cover story. What they were really doing was not trying to crack the Bible Code, but to solve all the mysteries of the universe by understanding Baby Talk. The problem is that one of the two year olds escapes, tries to blow their cover and free all the rug lab rats.
The first film was a cute idea, but it was spoiled by disappointing behavior. The other fact was that nearly every credible film critic gave it thumbs down. We all saw through a studio’s vain attempt to rip-off “Look Who’s Talking Now.” It just wasn’t a great movie. I am surprised that the studios bothered with a sequel. I don’t remember asking for one. Did you?
I do know that studios often copy or try to generate what I call genre competition. Remember, Sony did it before with the original. Super Babies could be Sony’s answer to “The Thunderbirds,” “The Incredibles” and “Team America: World Police.”
Director Bob Clark returns to do this sequel. The majority of films in Bob’s resume have been made-for-TV flics. He is not a bad director, but most of his films have the same bland look. Yes, as a parent, I would like to see more G and PG films. Producer Steven Paul also returns to the scene of this cinematic crime. “Super Babies” just does not fulfill those hopes and dreams of better movies for kids. Sony doesn’t even display its name anywhere (that should give you a big clue).
Let me just say that the race is close between “Super Babies,” “Catwoman” and “Yu-Gi-Oh” for the worst film of 2004.
“Crawling right along,” Scott Baio and Vanessa Angel play a couple who own an upscale day care center that has some connection to the one from Baby Geniuses. Their son, Alex, entertains his fellow rugrats by spinning tales about a legendary superbaby named Kahuna. Jon Voight did not return for the “Anaconda” sequel this weekend, but he gets to play an East German army officer with a reeeeeally bad accent. I don’t think that it even would have qualified him for a walk-on role with the TV series “Hogan’s Heroes.” Voight plays a Bill Biscayne, a worldwide media mogul. Mr. Bill (Oh, NO!) wants to take over the minds of the children in the world (too late… Nickelodeon has already done that and “Spy Kids” did a much better job with that plot assignment).
The legendary Kahuna returns to unite the babies and save the world. Kahuna accidentally ingested more than baby formula from his dad’s lab. He is now a superhero baby trapped in the body of a 7-year-old. Our hero lives in a secret hideout behind the letter H (Sesame Street fans) of the famed Hollywood sign. The dialogue and behavior is rude, and I did not find it cute, but offensive.
The ironic part is that Pampers has a commercial at the end that states “TV is rotten for kids.” Too late, we already knew that. The film does get an A for offensive language and no sex. There is some obligatory slapstick violence. This parent is just weary of all the name-calling and crude humor. Our children deserve better. The plot points and editing are horrible. There is a vain attempt at the end to jerk our heartstrings, but it is just too insincere.
Personally, I found the talking babies this time a little creepy (how do you spell “The Exorcist”). My recommendation is: Take your money to your local Christian bookstore and let your kids pick out a video, go home and pop some corn. It would be a much better investment all the way around.
Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None
Regarding morality, if diaper-clad babies and mild references to baby gas aren’t offensive, then the movie isn’t either. The acting (is that what it was?) was flat and stale; the plot thin and predictable (I was reminded of Batman as a toddler); the sets and effects looked extremely low budget. Since my grandaughter claimed to enjoy herself (rather weakly), the expense wasn’t a total waste. My only regret is the $7.50 per ticket for my grandson and myself (bummer that babysitters have to pay, too). Rather than spending for this movie, I think the suggestion to rent videos and microwave popcorn is the best idea, which we did after leaving this boring film. I obviously don’t recommend it.
—Linda, age 57