When I saw the poster for this, I thought it was a body-switching film….I was wrong. Genius is about a 13-year-old boy named Charlie who is a child prodigy. At just 13 years old, he is already in college working alongside his favorite scientist and even teaching some classes. Charlie is tired of being picked on and ignored, so he decides to change his image and live a new life.
There are Disney Channel movies that have captivated me and there are ones that have been pretty awful. Genius is just kind of…fine.
The story is one that could be told in a 30-minute episode of some series but is stretched out here for an hour and a half. It is entertaining for what it is for the most part though. Charlie meets a girl he is interested in and decides to change everything.
By everything, I mean he removes his glasses, slicks his hair, and puts on a leather jacket. He tells some lame jokes and wears sunglasses in class and everyone thinks he’s the man. It’s silly for sure.
Charlie has to balance living both lives and of course, it just gets harder and harder to do. Learning to accept yourself is not a new message at all and this movie doesn’t really add anything new to the mix either. A lot of it is pretty cringy and corny but it never makes you upset and it’s never boring.
The acting is fine. Trevor Morgan plays Charlie. You might recognize him from The Sixth Sense or Jurassic Park 3. He plays the dorky kid well. The script doesn’t give him enough to not be generic though. Emmy Rossum who would later go on to star in Shameless is pretty good as the main love interest. She elevates the poor script.
The standout is Charles Fleischer Charlie’s scientist mentor. He is known for being the voice of Roger Rabbit and he brings a charm to the movie that is missing almost everywhere else.
Genius is an entertaining enough movie. It has a nice cast and some good performances. The script is definitely lacking at times and there are a couple of questionable choices. Charlie lies to everyone and destroys part of the school. No lie. He is forgiven almost instantly. As I said, a lot of odd choices. There is nothing here we haven’t seen before but it’s a harmless time. You don’t need to be a genius to figure that out.