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Flash Of Genius
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Reviewed on 2008-10-08
Received[2]  out of 4 stars
The true story of a college engineering professor and part-time inventor’s lifelong battle with the U. S. automobile industry.

Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear, recently seen in "Ghost Town") was an everyday David who attempted to bring a corporate Goliath to its knees. He designed a new system to deal with rain showers by using the blinking eye as his guide. His invention was the intermittent windshield wiper that allowed for a pause between sweeps.

This dry, simplistic and unemotional account based on a magazine article holds your interest for about 30 minutes. It becomes a slumberfest because the story lacks depth and focuses on a bland and colorless main character. It drags things out with a perfectly predictable story arc.

It ignores the toll on Kearns’ marriage and the effect on his children. It has a made-for-television quality, missing only the breaks for commercials. It is listlessly paced, poorly lit and badly edited. The cinematography lacks crispness and the camera work is haphazard and amateurish.

The movie has a handle on the clothes, automobiles and ‘60s period details. The screenplay has a strong moral compass and champions the little guy standing up for his beliefs and principles. There is no sex, violence or bad language.

Kinnear goes through the motions, but is unable to use his screen charisma in this dull role to gain the audience’s sympathy. Lauren Graham ("Gilmore Girls") plays the inventor’s wife. She is just a pretty face who looks awfully good for having six children. She never ages a day over the course of the film.

Alan Alda makes a brief appearance as the greedy lawyer in the patent infringement case against Ford Motor Company. It is worth taking a moment of silence honoring the man behind an important automotive safety feature that saves lives, but it doesn’t take a genius to avoid paying the price of admission and wasting two hours.

Review By:
Keith Cohen, "The Movie Guy"

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