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Phenomenon Reviews

A movie for everyone who helped make FORREST GUMP the most beloved anti-intellectual tract in recent memory. This cloying retread of moron-to-mastermind fable CHARLY by way of POWDER is decidedly a la mode: In the '60s it took science to get those atrophied brain cells crackling; in the '90s it's a mystery. Amiable country sweathog George Malley (John Travolta) is just shuffling along one night, minding his own potatoes, when a blinding light comes out of the sky and knocks him on his (surprisingly chunky) keister. Next thing he knows, he's mastering conversational Portuguese in 20 minutes and breaking top-secret military codes in what's left of the hour. Needless to say, however, his newfound intellect doesn't make him happy. Far from it: In time-honored Hollywood fashion, PHENOMENON suggests that smart people are friendless freaks who'd be far better off if only they were just as dumb as the rest of us. In other words, don't take your kids if you're pushing them to make the honor roll.