Real Genius

"Extraordinary"

Real Genius Review


Ah, the '80s. It was the semi-golden decade of decadence and self-importance. It was the last time when what the average Joe likes determined what the movie studios made, not the other way around. Consequently, it was the last decade for really funny movies. In the 90s, if you wanted to make something side-splitting, you had to go Independent.

In the '80s, however, there are no shortage of movies that are just plain fun. From the Ghostbusters films to Ferris Bueller's Day Off, to the off-kilter dark comedy/horror April Fools Day, the 80s had no shortage of movies that made you laugh. It was the only time that comedies had scripts instead of actors that make up their own scripts, and, as a consequence, the movies of the '80s were actually funny.

Although it did not start the trend of the '80s towards being incredibly funny, Real Genius remains a film that retains its standing as a hilarious movie. Unlike '90s comedies, which get tiring after the first few times, Real Genius never gets old. Real Genius is a classic.

In Real Genius, Val Kilmer and Gabriel Jarrett star as two of the ten finest minds in the world. No, it wasn't a joke to cast Val Kilmer as a genius... this was before he killed every brain cell and allowed his agent to cast him in The Saint. Kilmer plays a relaxed, t-shirt wearing genius named Chris Knight. Jarrett plays an uptight, 15-year-old college freshman genius named Mitch Taylor. Knight and Taylor are working on a top-secret laser that is designed to assassinate any single human target from space... of course, they don't know that. They are being duped into this job by their professor, Jerry Hathaway (William Atherton). To imagine what a total schmuck Hathaway is, think of the principal in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and multiple the asshole-factor by ten.

The script is populated with one-liners, running jokes, and oddball relationships. The film is cute, eminently quoteable, and actually has a plot (the other major difference between 80s studio comedies and 90s studio comedies.). The actors surpass doing their jobs: the play their quirky roles to the maximum. From Kilmer actually being a good actor for once (his timing in this film is perfect), to the uptight RA, Kent (Prescott) to the student who lives in the steam tunnels (you have to see it to understand), to the ultra hyper genius, Jordan (Michelle Meyrink), everyone plays their part in making this a very funny movie.

The only bad thing about Real Genius is this: the film spends plenty of time trying to be something profound. This was a problem with films in general during the 80s, and it can be seen as a distinguishing mark of its era. However, because it spends so much time trying to be profound, it loses the opportunity for certain jokes along the way.

Other than that, Real Genius is a perfect comedy.

Pop secret!



Real Genius

Facts and Figures

Run time: 108 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 7th August 1985

Box Office Worldwide: $13M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Production compaines: TriStar Pictures, Delphi III Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Fresh: 17 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Martha Coolidge

Producer:

Starring: as Chris Knight, as Mitch Taylor, as Jordan Cochran, as Prof. Jerry Hathaway, as Lazlo Hollyfeld, Patti D'Arbanville as Sherry Nugil, as Kent, as David Decker, as Maj. Carnagle, as Dr. Meredith, as Shuttle Pilot, as George, as Mrs. Taylor, as Mrs. Meredith, as Milton, as Fenton, as Susan Decker

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.