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Tuesday 11 October 2011

Burl reviews Junior! (1994)

Hi, it’s Burl to review the sort of movie I’d usually run a mile to avoid! I watched this one as a bit of a joke, and it was pretty much exactly what I thought it would be, with one minor exception! I’ll get to that later!

The story involves Arnold Schwarzenegger playing a brilliant scientist! If you can swallow that one, I’ve got another for you: Schwarzenegger dabbles in weird science and, with the help of Danny DeVito, makes himself pregnant! Ha ha, no, Danny does not help him in the usual manner, but then this is not the usual kind of pregnancy!

Also, this is not the first pregnant man movie! Offhand, I can think of one called A Slightly Pregnant Man, and another one called Rabbit Test, where Billy Crystal gets pregnant! I haven’t seen either one of those, so I don’t know what sort of scientific explanation is used to back up the premise, but for Junior they simply implant an egg somewhere in Arnold’s cavernous abdomen, then fertilize it with one of Arnold’s own wrigglers, and after that totally ignore the fact that he has no uterus! I guess you’re not supposed to think about it too deeply, and that’s fine! It’s sort of like when you go see the stage production of The Elephant Man, and the actor is wearing no makeup! Well, you just imagine that he’s an elephant man! And in Junior, you just imagine Arnold is able to bear children without any of the proper equipment!

The movie was directed by Ivan Reitman, who has made much better films than this! Cannibal Girls, for example, or Meatballs, or even Ghostbusters! All of those are much better! Junior has that Hollywood social conservatism that I hate so much – the kind which appears to be cheerfully progressive, but ends up reinforcing gender roles and the heteronormal family unit more energetically than even Newt Gingrich would bother to! It’s the kind of movie where if two guys, let’s say Schwarzenegger and DeVito, are suspected for even a moment to be gay lovers, they leap apart like a lightning bolt struck the ground between them! Ha ha, it was almost funny in Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but give it a rest, guys!

Anyway, that’s not such a big deal, because what else would you expect? The main trouble is that the movie is not terribly funny, and the direction is very plain jane and drab! But the big surprise is Schwarzenegger, who’s actually good as the cold-fish scientist who gets in touch with his sensitive feminine side! Ha ha, I know, I couldn’t believe it either! Kudos to Reitman and Arnold both on that one! I give Junior one and a half bowtie-wearing Frank Langellas!

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