'Mad Genius' did intrigue me. Despite it being very lowly rated, from personal experience quite a lot of film rated under 4 are rated low for very good reason, and with a lot of the reviews being tepid at best (quite a lot of them negative, with some passionate, overly so perhaps, defending), the advertising looked cool and the concept was quite intriguing.
Seeing 'Mad Genius', while not finding it a particularly good film it to me wasn't that bad. Have seen far worse recently, quite a lot of them higher rated, and far worse overall. Although the execution was severely patchy and quite a few elements are easily criticised, it didn't strike me as if those involved weren't trying, if anything there was somewhat of a biting off more than they could chew feel to me. Actually understood what they were trying to do and respect their efforts even if it was not my cup of tea, will not join the fake reviews conspiracy theory, something that has been polluting the internet to an out of proportion degree for some time now and although there is suspicious activity admittedly for quite a number of times it is getting really annoying.
Visually, was expecting 'Mad Genius' to be much worse than it was. Low-budget films with a higher budget than the one for 'Mad Genius' actually manage to be comparatively quite a bit cheaper. While finesse is not a strong suit and the effects are very hasty-looking, there was effort made here. It is slickly shot with some very striking angles that progress rather than distract and the sets and lighting are atmospheric, a world that is easily immersive.
Really did like some of the ideas conceptually and there were some neat video reactions and real-time social media comment touches sprinkled throughout. The acting is hit and miss, but Faran Tahir chews the scenery enjoyably and Scott Mechlowicz is likeable enough.
Chris Mason's performance is uneven, sometimes in command and amiable and at other times bland and unsure. Spencer Locke looks wide-eyed and frightened the entire time, pretty much the only notable expression in a role with practically nothing to it. The characters were very flimsy in development and the more interesting and better performed ones are on screen too little. A couple of elements are uneven, the fast cuts in some of the camera work could have been used less (the overuse became gimmicky) and the music while quite nice and groovy on its own intrudes a little too much and didn't always fit within the film.
Would have liked more clarity and tightness in the script, some of it felt rambling and muddled. The story had some great ideas but too many are not followed all the way through, they are not exactly new but intrigued but the film executed them too predictably and ordinarily for my tastes. Character motivations generally could have been much clearer, had the constant feeling of why is he or she doing this and what do they want, and the middle act is on the sluggish side.
Overall, a nice try but didn't do much for me on the whole.
Review by TheLittleSongbird from the Internet Movie Database.