For five years, film critic Scott Tobias compiled "The New Cult Canon" in a regular column for The A.V. Club…
Who ELSE can turn lasers into light shows, aircraft into armchairs, and high-tech into hijinks?
Chris is the top brain who just wants to party, Mitch is the 15-year-old college wiz kid. Supposedly hard at work on a lab project with a mysterious deadline, they still find time to use their genius to discover new ways to have fun.
Darlington Recruiter: You *are* Chris Knight, aren't you?
Chris Knight: I hope so, I'm wearing his underwear.
Val Kilmer elevates this 80's teen romp into something near magical. I could go further and say it's a career best but i'll keep my cool - just for now. His comic delivery is damn near perfect and whenever he's on screen (which is thankfully a lot) Real Genius shifts into a high gear.
The finale is excellent also. Really excellent.
Oh okay its a career best.
It's kind of a moral imperative to love this film.
They should have just used Laser Cats
"Not that genius... But, cool..."
1985 has been a wonderful year for teen movies, especially on the account of classics like Back To The Future, Breakfast Club and Goonies. It will be a valid argument to indicate that this Val Kilmer movie actually got overlooked among these heavyweights.
Real Genius is a fun movie that have a lot common with Revenge Of The Nerds and Weird Science, but in a different perspective this one dealt with some unpleasant facts. As drones and other high-tech profile weapons are being developed by every known countries, and social ethics becomes a questionable one, everyone goes dubious about the role of science in human evolution. Real Genius tackles the question in an entertaining way.…
As I watched Real Genius this time I found I could quote dialogue from it that I hadn't heard for more than two decades. That pretty much says it all for me with this film. The jokes still played well--the car in the bedroom, the popcorn in the house, the voice of Jesus in Kent's skull. This and Top Secret made Val Kilmer one of my favorite actors well into the 90s.
Also I had a crush on Michelle Meyrink when I was younger. Any girl who would sled down a set of ice-covered stairs and wear a wet suit to an indoor pool party was alright in my book.
“The film was inspired and based loosely on actual events at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California” says IMDb and indeed, leafing through the movie’s references to real-life nerdy hijinks, and all the inside Caltech jokes, is an entertaining endeavour.
Not that it necessarily salvages the movie, though. Then again, I suppose it serves me right for trying to watch this 1980s production for the first time in 2012. And it is unmistakably 1980s, with the hair, the make-up, the awesome montages set to the pop hits, and many other things… none of which aged particularly well. Among them the plot, which after half the running time of pure unthrottled zaniness, wakes up and tries to develop some…
What a smug, unpleasant movie. I can't believe I used to love this.
They should have just used Laser Cats
Man we were dicks in the 80s. It makes these films quite hard to rewatch. But overall it's still pretty fun, and the finale is nicely ridiculous.
"Your mother puts license plates in your underwear? How do you sit down?"
This movie is perfection; an utterly sublime combination of Pat Proft-style spoof-gags and 80s college hijinks. Also notable for its warm tone, and clear care it has for its main characters.
Easily one of the best, and most underappreciated, films of the mid-eighties. Endlessly quotable, Kilmer's Knight may just be his absolute crowning achievement in acting.
Likable, light 80s comedy. Kilmer has always been the best.
You ever rewatch a movie you loved as a kid, only to be reminded of an early crush you had on a character and suddenly realized how the character was probably a formative influence on what you were/are attracted to in other people? Michelle Meyrink as Jordan was definitely one of mine.*
*I was tempted to say it was Lazlo.
This review reportedly contains spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Had to show this one to my son. It hasn't aged perfectly, but it was still a fun flick. The strangest move on the part of the filmmakers is that the great majority of the 2nd act is a montage. Very odd choice.
Also, I was shocked to see that Lazlo was Uncle Rico from Napoleon Dynamite!
It seems like they were trying to make a more serious movie that would have been incredibly dull. But Val Kilmer Hijacks it to make it entertaining whenever he's on screen. He takes pranking to a whole new level.
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