Picks and Pans Review: Weird Science

UPDATED 08/26/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/26/1985 at 01:00 AM EDT

For his first joke, director-writer John Hughes resorts to having his heroes lose their pants. Weird Science never recovers from the lame vulgarity of that beginning, nor does it try to. In this high-tech version of Bride of Frankenstein, two teenage outcasts, using a computer, create their idea of the ultimate woman. When she appears in their midst alive and aroused, she engenders the pair's conversion from geeks to cool guys. Despite the situation's possibilities, Hughes doesn't pursue the consequences of adolescent wish fulfillment. In such earlier films as The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles, he displayed an admirable empathy for his youthful characters, but this time he has taken empathy too far. He's interested only in the same things as his 15-year-old heroes: girls, good times and rock 'n' roll. Consequently, Kelly (The Woman in Red) LeBrock, who plays the dream woman, is really nothing more than an ornament. She's treated like an early Jackie Bisset. Nor do her creators fare any better. As the wise guy of the pair, Anthony Michael Hall loses some of the charm he cultivated in The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles. He's so bossy he can't ply his ingratiating vulnerability. As his cohort, Han (The Wild Life) Mitchell-Smith possesses an oddball warmth that gives the movie its only emotional verve. Weird Science is a perversion of the high-concept movie: It's all concept, no execution. Audiences can tell the difference if Hollywood cannot. (PG-13)

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