Real Genius

Film, Comedy
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Coolidge's career progressed from personal independent documentaries on rape and drug abuse, through an ill-fated brush with Coppola's Zoetrope, and eventually moved towards the mainstream with the engaging off-kilter teen flick Valley Girl. This, her first Hollywood feature, was co-written by the Police Academy team, and mainly plays like it. Supersmart college boffins Kilmer and Jarret are recruited by teacher Atherton to work on a new laser project, but the kids eventually turn rebellious when they discover the device's covert military implications. It's a change to see young folk are more obsessed with technology than the promptings of the trouser department, but the gizmo-heavy hi-jinks (fun with helium, frozen gas and other science-class materials) do outstay their welcome. It does make you wonder if the drive of the US education system is ultimately to develop better weapons of mass-destruction, though Coolidge's movie is too hazily good-natured to capitalise on the tougher aspects of the material.

By: TJ

Release details

Duration: 106 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Martha Coolidge
Screenwriter: Neal Israel, Pat Proft, Peter Torokvei
Cast: Val Kilmer
Gabe Jarret
Michelle Meyrink
William Atherton
Patti D'Arbanville
Robert Prescott
Louis Giambalvo
Jonathan Gries
Ed Lauter
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