From the producer of David Cronenberg… it’s Junior!
After the success of Ivan Reitman’s Twins (a title he bought from Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers project), he heard the world clamouring for more Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito; an Anthony Daniels and Kenny Baker for the ’90s. So he came up with a three-word high-concept – Arnie gets pregnant – and nothing else. The nine months between Arnold’s insemination and labour (and it is a labour) contain zero explanations, characters or jokes. Is it even meant to be a comedy? Google calls it a “sci-fi/romance”, presumably based on AI counting the number of jokes.
The product of this exercise in cynicism is a deeply unsettling non-movie about two fertility doctors (The Penguin and Mr. Freeze no less) hatching a plan to steal a woman’s eggs and inject them into Arnold Schwarzenegger for no reason other than Universal have already printed the posters. Mr. Freeze is easier to warm to than these people, so non-existent are their motivations and characters – not to mention the sexism of a pregnant Arnie suddenly doing domestic tasks. And just when you thought things couldn’t get any weirder, a young Emma Thompson shows up as Arnie’s love interest; a mismatch so creepy it feels almost alien.
Junior isn’t even good bad Arnie, it’s bad bad nothing; a stillborn act of marketing with no actual film built around it because schmucks will go and see it either way (except they didn’t), aborting its one job of being a silly comedy. Instead this is foetal-position viewing that ignores the most embryonic notions of storytelling, to say nothing of the logistics of a man giving birth – one dreads to think what happens if a cesarean isn’t an option, but one imagines it would look a lot like Junior.