>> Flash of Genius (2008)

Title: Flash of Genius

Genre: Drama

Starring: Greg Kinnear, Lauren Graham, Dermot Mulroney, Jake Abel, Daniel Roebuck

Director: Marc Abraham

Studio: Focus

Runtime: 1 Hour, 59 Minutes

In Theatres: October 3, 2008

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Rating: 2.00 (out of 4.00)

Grade: C

Flash of Genius by definition is an inventive act which had to have come into the mind of an inventor in a "flash of genius" and not as a result of tinkering.  This was the standard by which all patents were approved for over a decade. Professor Robert Kearns had a flash of genius of his own when he invented the intermittent wiper system after tiring of the wiper system that had, up till then, been the standard. Kearns story goes beyond his invention when he is forced into a long and drawn out battle with Ford after they stole his idea. From 1978 to 1995 Kearns battled both Ford and Chrysler and accumulated huge legal fee’s and went through rough patches with his friends and family as a result as well as losing his wife. Kearns passed away in 2005 of brain cancer complicated by Alzheimer's disease. Flash of Genius tells his story.

I’ve never really been impressed with Greg Kinnear as an actor because his choice in film has always been about the same, save for the time he opted to play a superhero in the critical flop Mystery Men. Like most actors who share the same mindset, yet must have extraordinary agents, Kinnear finds himself yet again playing the down on his luck average Joe, but his usual drab character depiction works well here. The chemistry between himself and the character he portrays in the film feels more energetic and studied. Kinnear maneuvers well between the emotional ups and downs, possibly because Kinnear is trying to do Kearns’ life justice, or maybe it was just time for Kinnear to put to use all of the similar type of characters he’s played. Who knows? All I know is that for once I was actually invested in Kinnears performance in a film. Lauren Graham on the other hand is completely plastic in this film, not that she’s ever proven otherwise, but her broad smiles and head tilts may have worked for her in Gilmore Girls and well enough in Evan Almighty but they seemed to comical in this, a more serious film. On a side note Alan Alda was great for his small role.

The films plot is slow but involved and for the most part it will offer more frustrations then it will uplifting moments. I believe that you really need to be in the mood to watch a film like this or at least find yourself lucky enough to be seated among the right audience. The film comes in just shy of two hours and in some instances you can feel the drag but the film is good enough that you wont want to leave. I think the advertising gave away way to much in this film because you already know how the film will end and what will happen in the beginning which makes the journey in between a bit 50/50 in regards to its captivating power. Still, Kinnear does well enough to keep you glued to your seat and the final few court scenes are worth the wait. Not a fantastic film but one that is worth seeing at least once.


flash of genius

What a fantastic story of the little guy going against big business. A great performance by Greg Kinear and a very interesting true story that no one really knows about.

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