Weird Science (1985)

19 Apr


Smith’s Verdict: **1/2

Reviewed by Tanner Smith

“Weird Science” has its pleasurable elements. It mixes teenage male fantasies with “The Bride of Frankenstein” and adds some science, as well as magic. It’s a movie written and directed by John Hughes, who specializes in putting people (mostly teenagers, like “Sixteen Candles” and “The Breakfast Club”) in mostly realistic situations while writing some very clever dialogue for his characters to say to keep the comedy and drama in the same rhythm. “Weird Science” has some clever dialogue, but the realism is replaced with more of a fantasy. I don’t mind that, but the premise doesn’t quite follow up to its own potential.

Anthony Michael Hall (Hughes’ typecast geek) and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play two dorky buddies named Gary and Wyatt who fantasize about becoming popular and winning the girls of their dreams. One night, they watch “The Bride of Frankenstein” and that’s when Gary gets the idea of creating their own girl. But not by digging up any dead girl and reanimating her, as Frankenstein did. They create a girl on Wyatt’s computer by hacking into main computer systems and simulating a woman that they can create and fill knowledge into. But as in “The Bride of Frankenstein,” lightning strikes and things go way beyond what they expected. Before you can say “it’s alive,” the girl (no, WOMAN) they created is real enough to stand in their doorway (looking almost impossibly stunning) and shower with the boys.

This perfect woman is played by Kelly LeBrock, complete with beauty, sensuous lips, and a heavy British accent to go along with it. Named Lisa, she is no ordinary woman. She is not a dumb bimbo or the cover of this week’s Playboy. She actually has a brain. She’s intelligent and sensitive to the boys’ needs. She also has magic powers (she can get a car, change the boys’ suits at parties, make anything happen). Lisa realizes the boys’ insecurities and spends the movie attempting to make them feel better about themselves.

Of John Hughes’ latest teenage movies, this is probably the least in the entries. The movie starts out with a lot of clever ideas, but the problem is the movie doesn’t really seem to go through with them. The performances by Hall and Mitchell-Smith are engaging and Kelly LeBrock is perfect as Lisa. I just wish they were involved in a better story. A supporting character that is supposed to be funny doesn’t fit here at all—that is Bill Paxton as Chet, Wyatt’s nasty, sadistic older brother. He doesn’t fit in this movie at all, except to provide nasty jokes. His come-uppance (or rather, his punchline from Lisa) is also nasty and not very funny.

“Weird Science” has plenty of good ideas that could’ve made it a better movie. But because it does have its moments, I would say rent it.

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