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Young Einstein Review

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The tell of what would of happened if Albert Einstein had been born an Australian. The theory goes that he would have been a whacky inventor, finally figuring out a way of getting the bubbles in beer, an achievement that brings him to the world’s attentio

★★★★★

Less a revisionist history than a lolloping spoof with half an eye on playing funny with some famous scientific icons, this goofy Aussie comedy was attempting to export excitable homegrown funnyman Yahoo Serious as the next Paul Hogan. In real terms, the herky-jerky, I’m-a-bit-of-a-loony Mr. Serious (real name: Greg Pead) is nothing like the droll, dry-boned Hogan, but more along the lines of shrill, insistent, odd-pot games of Pee Wee Herman, and about as funny. Firm evidence that not all comedy travels well.

For all his Keaton-esque fumbling about, Serious (what irony in his moniker!) is firmly rooted in the clichés of the unreconstituted Australian male: he takes his baths in the outdoors, and in his dotty inventing brings about the surf board, the electric guitar (and thus rock’n’roll) and, most importantly, gets the bubbles into beer during which process he manages to split the atom. Against him is John Howard’s scheming patent’s clerk, while the love interest is Odile Le Clezio’s unmemorable Marie Curie (a lame name gag). The general stock of its comedy plays the familiar names and notions of scientific progress (the Wright Brothers, E=mc2, Edison, Freud, etc.) to the off-key tune of Serious’ rock-flecked clowning (he also fancied himself as a singer back in Oz). But despite his pompadour of Sideshow Bob hair, his bottle thin frame and elastic features, his slapstick jinks are little more than a wan copy of any number of the great fools of cinema’s yesteryear. So, the only thing that really ties this to the effervescent and hugely successful Crocodile Dundee is that it is a croc.

A rather lame, awkward and amateurish movie, only fitfully funny and made in such a remorselessly low-brow way that it makes Crocodile Dundee look like Citizen Kane.

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