Film » Film Capsules

Flash of Genius

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Not sure what would compel someone to want to make a movie about the guy who invented the intermittent windshield wiper. Sure, he came up with the idea and then big automakers stole it from him. And yes, he took them on against all the odds and had to defend himself in court because no lawyer in his right mind would take the job once they realized he wasn’t looking for a settlement as much as he wanted an admission of guilt. But, c’mon, we’re talking about a windshield wiper. That said, Greg Kinnear is quite excellent as Robert Kearns, a university professor who has a “flash of genius” and realizes an intermittent wiper might do a better job of increasing visibility in the absence of something short of a downpour. There’s an inherent drama here in the film’s David vs. Goliath storyline, and the film does a reasonable job of recreating the look of the ’60s, but the two-hour movie probably goes on for about 20 minutes too long. HH 1/2

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