When a madman takes the White House hostage with a complex nuclear bomb he has built, he demands that the Secret Service assemble the world’s highest IQ achievers to solve the world’s problems in the President’s bunker before the time runs out on the bomb. The madman poses a series of philosophical dilemmas and questions for them to solve so they can gain enough points for him to turn off the bomb. Will they be able to play the game to win before time runs out?
Production Quality (1.5 points)
Unlike later productions from Timothy Chey, The Genius Club actually has average production quality rather than negative production quality. Video quality is good and camera work is good, but there is some randomly poor lighting. However, audio quality is unprofessional, although the soundtrack is interesting. Sets, locations, and props are also somewhat interesting and creative. However, the editing leaves something to be desired with some confusing cuts and transitions. Overall, this is a middle-of-the-road production that is better than negative but is not what it should be.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though The Genius Club has some shades of Timothy Chey wackiness, it also includes some thought-provoking philosophical concepts. It has an interesting suspense storyline but it lacks flow and tends to jump all over the place in attempts to cover a lot of ground and information, even if it does so in an isolating way. There are some typical philosophical regurgitations, but there are also some interesting and surprisingly well-thought-out points raised. However, the characters, even though there are some interesting backstories, and the dialogue are not good enough to sustain a full-scale story as the conversations only seem to be used to fill time. Finally, as with many suspense ideas, this story has a paint-yourself-into-a-corner ending that is hard to reconcile properly or creatively without being predictable. But at least this was a reasonable attempt.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
The acting is very inconsistent, especially with the over-the-top villain constantly manically tirading. Stephen Baldwin is always a lazy actor, but his role somewhat fits him. Other cast members post over-the-top performances, but others are realistic and meaningful. Overall, like other parts of the film, this is a mixed bag.
Timothy Chey remains to be an enigma. He is extremely hard to figure, except for the fact that he clearly hates lawsuits, noises, war, and oil companies, as these are constant themes throughout his films. Yet despite his zaniness, there are some interesting thought-provokers throughout The Genius Club that actually make you think. However, they are not enough to overcome the inevitable unprofessional elements that are almost always found in his films. But this one is at least worth a watch.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points