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REAL GENIUS, 1985
Movie Review

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REAL GENIUS
Movie Review
Directed by Martha Coolidge
Starring: Val Kilmer, Gabriel Jarret
Review by The Movie Whore



SYNOPSIS:

Two brilliant teenagers head a team of young geniuses developing a laser for what they believe is a class project. When they find out that their professor intends to turn their work over to the government for use as a weapon, they decide to ruin his plans.

REVIEW:

If you have not seen this movie, do yourself a favor and see it now.

This was the second movie Val Kilmer starred in and it is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Not only is it funny the first time, but this movie never gets old.

The movie opens with a demonstration video of the “Crossbow” project being funded by the US Military. It is a high powered laser that can be fired from space and will vaporize any target. There is only one problem, it does not work yet.

Dr. Jerry Hathaway is a professor at Pacific Tech (think MIT) and is using his students to build his laser for the military. The head of the project is wunderkind Chris Knight (Val Kilmer). Chris is in his last year and is coasting through to graduation, or so he thinks. Dr. Hathaway has told him make the laser work or “I will flunk you.”

To make things more interesting, Dr. Hathaway has brought in a new boy genius. Mitch is a 15 year old uptight genius whose parents don’t understand him at all. Being the new kid at school makes him the subject of pranks that only geniuses with nothing better to do would even think of trying.

Since Mitch is Chris’ roommate what ensues is a war of pranks that is nothing short of brilliant. Let me put it this way, ever seen a car taken apart and put back together in some ones dorm room. There are several instances in this film where you see geniuses at play.

The one treasure of this film is the never ending one liners delivered brilliantly by Val Kilmer throughout the film. “I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, "... I drank what?"

It is this kind of attitude towards the world that is driving Mitch crazy. Everything is a joke to Chris and I do mean everything. However things get serious when they finally are able to produce a laser that will make “Crossbow” a reality.You see, Hathaway never told his students that the application of the laser is going to be for military use. This leads Chris, Mitch and company to sneak into the military installation where the laser will be tested and put in a few tweaks to screw with Hathaway. This leads to a scene at the end of the movie that is nothing short of real genius.

There are some very memorable characters in this movie. Lazlo was once a student at Pacific Tech and now lives in Chris’s closet, well kind of. Part of the fun of this film is watching Mitch try to figure out where Lazlo disappears to when he walks into the closet.

Kent is as close to a functioning idiot genius that you will ever find. The battle of pranks is primarily between Kent and Chris and Mitch. Kent is also an incredible suck up. It is difficult to tell where Hathaway ends and Kent begins.

This is a difficult movie to review due to it being packed full of sub plots that all fit and are brilliantly played out through the film. If I was ever to put together a list of my all time favorite movies, Real Genius would be somewhere near the top of the comedy category. I have never talked to anyone that has seen this movie that did not like it.

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