Flash of Genius

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
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  1. ChadS.
    Oct 6, 2008
    6
    The intermittent windshield wiper is his Mona Lisa; only one person painted the Mona Lisa. In another century, prior to the Italian Renaissance, Bob Kearns(Greg Kinnear) would have been considered an artist, as the distinction between artisan and artist hadn't been made yet. When Bob invented the intermittent windshield wiper, he did it independently, not by committee. During The intermittent windshield wiper is his Mona Lisa; only one person painted the Mona Lisa. In another century, prior to the Italian Renaissance, Bob Kearns(Greg Kinnear) would have been considered an artist, as the distinction between artisan and artist hadn't been made yet. When Bob invented the intermittent windshield wiper, he did it independently, not by committee. During therapy, the tortured "artist" asks the doctor how'd he feel if another man's name appeared on his published books. This is the sort of question Bob should be asking the team of engineers at Ford, whose labored fruits carry the corporate logo. They're like clusterf***** Hollywood screenwriters at an arbitartion hearing before the Writers Guild of America, who rules against their claim for on-screen credit. When Bob's case is brought up before the court, he's like Arthur C. Clarke trying to get his "patent" on HAL back from MGM Studios. Blind in one eye, due to a honeymoon mishap with an errant champagne cork, Bob sounds like pioneering Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov as he describes the Kearns Blinking Eye Wiper operating under the principles of an eyelid. This inventor was like "The Man with a Cor-ko Eye" in approaching Ford; the maverick trying to woo the establishment, with the naive notion that he wouldn't be co-opted. (If Vertov came to Hollywood and worked with John Ford, he'd try to cut "The Searchers" like "Flash...dance". This Constructivist filmmaker unwittingly predicted the language of the music video.) Despite its winning story about the underdog going after "the man", "Flash of Genius" is hampered by a dramatic inertness as Bob waits for his day at court. Surely, the DaVinci of the pantograph arms(thank you, Wikipedia) attempted to paint another Mona Lisa during the interim, when he wasn't alienating his family and friends. That's the direction "Flash of Genius" should have taken, a dramatization of Bob Kearns' realization that you can't catch lightning in a bottle the second time around. Losing his Tesla girl was tough, losing his invention was tougher, but knowing that he peaked was probably the greatest source of the inventor's angst. Every artist, or artisan, fears this; the loss of creativity, having hot flashes of unimaginativity. Expand
  2. MikeE.
    Oct 6, 2008
    4
    pretty weak. They took a terrific story line and made it boring.
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    50
    It's also solidly constructed throughout and the acting is impeccable. The problem is that it just lumbers along for two solid hours, never rising to any significant emotional or philosophical heights.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    50
    Moderately inspiring in the way such true-life stories of "the indomitable human spirit" are always constructed to be.
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    20
    Greg Kinnear, usually kinetic, is unusually (and unbearably) dull.