Flash of Genius: Underground Movie Review

In recent years, biographical films have been on an upswing. We guess, people find something great in knowing about someone overcoming the odds of life - realizing that the impossible sometimes become possible. Just looking at films like "Rudy" or "The Pursuit of Happyness", you will see what we mean. There is a caveat though with biopics - that is, most of them have a lot of parts that are invented for some unscrupulous reason and that is a turn off we just live with everyday ("A Beautiful Mind" is one prime example). "Flash of Genius" is a biopic and we expect something good from it (as most biopics do). Can it deliver the goods while sticking to the true life story of its protagonist?

"Flash of Genius" tells the life story of Robert Kearns (Greg Kinnear) and his invention, the intermittent windshield wiper. The movie starts off in 1963 while Robert is driving with his family - he notices how annoying the constant movement of his car's windshield wiper is. The constant movement irritated his eyes. After that encounter, Robert is inspired to improve the windshield wiper by making it blink like the human eye. By some miracle, Robert makes the wiper stop at regular intervals - beating thousands of engineers trying to do it for years. Robert and his colleagues presents his invention to the Ford Motor Company and Ford decides that it is worth their time and money. Unfortunately though, Ford soon renounces their deal with Robert and with it, also Robert's prototype. Soon after that, Ford releases cars with Robert's invention - without him getting any credit. Robert decides that he will take Ford head on at court. Can Robert defeat Ford on his own?

The problem with "Flash of Genius" ironically is that it sticked too much to the original material. How did this become bad? Well first, if your characters' actions already border more on being delusional than inspirational, why even bother doing the film? Second, the invention itself seems insignificant with all the commotion that it caused. For us, the film only showed the stubborness and even the craziness of the real Robert Kearns. Instead of seeing a good man, we see someone who only thought of himself and his invention that it destroyed the relationships he had with his family and friends. The only good thing in this film is the wonderful acting by Greg Kinnear which was gripping and very natural. The film had flash in some scenes but most of it are trash. The story might inspire some but will bore most. This film was destroyed by its original material - nothing more to say here.

Rating: 1 reel

Why you should watch it:
- the acting was great considering the lackluster content

Why you shouldn't watch it:
- the main character was more of delusional than inspirational when seeing the actions that he did thus affecting the material itself
- we just couldn't see the significance of the intermittent windshield wiper that it merited itself a film
- feels like the overall make of the film is amateurish

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  1. wow, not a very nice rating eh? lol. I'll pass on this one completely. I saw it the other day at blockbuster.

  2. hi trench!

    well maybe a rental won't hurt if you are really curious! :)

  3. Aww, wawa naman :'p
    But, I'm curious too.

    I like conspiracy theories, and this seems like a story that hints on the greed of car companies.
    Like when they phased out the electric car (yes they've already been mass produced, then recalled), for one thing it's probably because they won't earn commissions from oil companies. (?).

  4. Hi Lorgen!

    Actually, the movie does present the greed of the car companies (Ford only in this one). But it could have been presented a lot better than they did.