Junior

From the producer of David Cronenberg… it’s Junior!

Re-Arniemator

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.

Emma Thompson: the Extra-Terrestrial

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.

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