In the great tradition of “Alien vs. Predator,” I’d like to propose another combination of movie franchises: “Anacondas vs. Superbabies.”
Those two movies go head to head this week at the box office, but after suffering through “Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2,” it’s clear that they should both be on the same screen at the same time.
I’ll be rooting for the gigantic snake to slither away with five huge lumps in its belly.
All right, this is a movie for only the tiniest of tykes, so maybe that’s cruel — but “Superbabies” deserves no less for its lousy, half-hearted attempt at children’s entertainment.
Jon Voight embarrasses himself as the villain Kane, a tycoon who’s trying to start a worldwide cable channel for little kids. Why? “I will control the minds of the children through their televisions!” he shouts.
But still — why? Haven’t the Teletubbies already done that?
As the first “Baby Geniuses” movie suggested, little kids are actually super-smart, overly chatty creatures before they learn to speak adult languages. They can kung fu fight, and know wholesome street slang and drive automobiles. They are Albert Einstein crossed with Bruce Lee, with a little bit of Henny Youngman thrown in for good measure.
The triplets Leo, Gerry and Myles Fitzgerald play Kahuna, a 5-year-old who we learn is actually older than 60. But his scientist father created a potion that made his growth stop. Kane is his bad older brother, and the two have been enemies for decades.
“Those things will kill you,” Kahuna warns Kane, when the older man lights a cigarette.
Then Kahuna takes a lollipop out of a cigarette case. “Those things will give you cavities,” Kane spits back.
Bad, boring, lifelessThe humor in “Superbabies” doesn’t get much better.
Eventually Kahuna recruits four other tots to wage war on Kane and his inept henchmen. Special-effects manipulate the mouths of the babies so they make wisecracks as they fight the villains.
The argument in favor of lackluster kiddie entertainment like this is: Well, it’s not for adults, but children will love it. Sorry, but just because a movie is NOT for adults doesn’t mean children must automatically go crazy for it.
This is just a bad, boring, lifeless comedy that should have gone straight to video. Only the youngest of kids will like it, and they’d probably enjoy it just as much if it was played backward.
“Superbabies” is directed by Bob Clark, who made the original “Baby Geniuses” in 1999 and also directed the superb “A Christmas Story” from 1983, a film that had warmth, bite and a real sense of childlike humor and wonder.
“Superbabies” is just an attempt to make a few bucks.