Junior (1994)

Junior (1994)
  • Time: 109 min
  • Genre: Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
  • Director: Ivan Reitman
  • Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Emma Thompson, Frank Langella


Alex Hesse and Larry Arbogast are working on a new drug which will reduce the chances of a woman’s body rejecting an embryo and thus causing a miscarriage. When their research funding is withdrawn, and human experimentation is denied to them, they decide to test the drug by breifly impregnating Hesse. Hesse however becomes attached to “his” unborn baby.

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  • Movies can be categorized into several different groups (and not just by genre). This can be based on the kind of viewing experience it gives its audience. As for this movie, it is difficult to classify where this male version of a “chick flick” should be placed. It is quite honestly one of the most oddest oddballs anyone could watch. This is mostly due to the case because the concept overall was new (for its time) and sounded good on paper. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean it would look good in real life. So in order to make this happen without it having coming across as a freak show, director Ivan Reitman turned it into a comedy. Yet somehow, this did not make it any less bewildering of a production. The entire running time is just weird.

    Dr. Larry Arbogast (Danny DeVito) convinces his cohort Dr. Alex Hesse (Arnold Schwarzenegger) to test himself as a human lab rat for a pregnancy test after the two are fired from the University they work for by Noah Banes (Frank Langella). Replacing the two doctors is the young and beautiful Dr. Diana Reddin (Emma Thompson) who soon joins the confusion and nonsense that erupts. For its writing, credit must be given for being ambitious. It also brings up a couple of good points about what it’s like to be a mom and the side effects of being pregnant. These kinds of notions are demonstrated through Arnold who goes through all these definitive moments (that’s next to be contended to). Along with that is Emma Thompson’s character who at least sheds some light on the struggles that women go through that men would certainly not understand (even in Arnold’s case). Setting this to the side, the rest of the story is just DeVito and Schwarzenegger telling lies in order to hold over the experiment. A very silly pot-boiler plot and it shows because the two writers behind this, Kevin Wade and Chris Conrad did not really have enough experience to produce a screenplay with decent quality.

    As a comedy, it’s not strong. DeVito, the funnyman, only has a few quips that are noteworthy. The best is when he’s discovered of lying. Arnold only had one funny moment and that’s when he yells like a man instead of acting like a woman and its only funny because of the doofy face he has at the time. In fact, this film actually makes the female actors like Emma Thompson and Pamela Reed (Dr. Arbogast’s ex) funnier than the male actors. This is because they are actual females and don’t need to act like a woman. I don’t know, it’s just outlandish seeing action man Arnold Schwarzenegger acting like a woman in drag. It doesn’t feel right and it’s more of a put-off than anything else. But who knew, in 2007 Thomas Beattie the first man (who was originally a woman) would actually become pregnant. And that was no comedy. Even Christopher Meloni from Law & Order: SVU has a more natural role in this story. But I digress.

    The rest of the components to the film aren’t that great either. Cinematography provided by Adam Greenberg who shot for other megahit movies like The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) goes all out wishy-washy this time. There’s nothing really interesting to look at here other than the occasional bright and feminine colors that appear in the usual maternity rooms. The practical effects are ok but are immediately ruined when the special effects kick in and it is very noticeable. As clear as day, and looking back on it, it looks underdeveloped. As for music, arranged by James Newton Howard, the tracks do work with the softer more emotional moments but for the comedic moments it doesn’t. Howard’s music is somewhat of the reversal of the contemporary styles of Christopher Lennertz’s music, where he can maintain the comedic notes but not much of any emotional ones.

    This feature is an irregular mix of comedy, drama and romance it only works in a few places. The female actresses are funnier than the male actors are and watching Arnold Schwarzenegger become a mom is not the most enlightening experience or the most realistic one.

    Points Earned –> 4:10

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