VIFF Review: ‘Bad Genius’ is a slick caper film

How far would you go to get an A in school? Bad Genius tells the story of a group of kids who want (or need) to get high marks but don’t want to put in the work, and it tells that story both slickly and hilariously.

VIFF 2017

Lynn, a newly arrived scholarship student at an upscale private college, breezes through tests while her new friend Grace struggles. Wanting to solidify the friendship, Lynn provides Grace with the answers; it’s not long before Grace has told her boyfriend Pat, and he suggests a scheme: sell the answers to other kids in the class, and make a killing doing it. What started as passing a note evolves into a music-based method of communicating answers and later into an international caper with dozens of students in on the scheme.

You can tell director Nattawut Poonpiriya has watched many heist films and a lot of college films and has figured out a way to fuse them both. One part The Social Network and one part Ocean’s Eleven, with all the energy that implies. The kids are all great, but the show really belongs to Chutimon Chuengcharoensukying in the lead as Lynn. Lynn knows she’s smarter than all the other kids and most of the teachers, too, and she exudes that cool easy confidence that the leader of a band of thieves and con men need to in a big way.

In short, Bad Genius is a fun heist film, and you’ll probably have a blast watching it.


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