The Mother of Invention review (DVD)

Vincent Dooly is a failure in just about every part of his life, including in his unrelenting mission to become the next big inventor. Living out his days fixated on creating a new technology, Vincent is the classic, disillusioned super-geek who never gets his way and never gets the girl.

With a competition looming to crown the next young inventor, he works in overdrive to design something that would steal the show. Only, he has stiff competition in the form of his nemesis of invention Martin Wooderson, who has won the award a number of times in a row, since he became eligible to enter. With the upcoming contest being the final that the two can enter because of their age, who will invent a first prize-taking marvel?

Shot as a mockumentary, the film follows Dooly through countless creations of his, none of which are even comprehensible as functioning inventions. Would you invest n a Knife Hat, a cycling helmet with a kitchen knife taped to it? How about a teleportation device that doesn't actually do any teleporting but is phenomenal at making it difficult to get out of? As you can see, Vincent isn't the sharpest knife (hat) in the draw. He's essentially a mad scientist who never quite gets his Frankenstein's monster off the table.

The character, overbite and all, is basically a caricature of every hopeless geek you've ever seen on screen. He actually reminded me of Mark Borchardt from the fantastic documentary American Movie, so perhaps he was the inspiration for the bumbling “inventor”. His illogical products are shown in a string of skits with a narrative that almost sits on the sidelines and it feels so long. When I was forty minutes into the film it felt like ninety. What I do like about The Mother of Invention, however, is its message. Dooly acts as a totem for faith. Faith not in religion, but people.

I wanted to like it a lot more than I did – it's an honest film – but with the way it's put together and the anticlimactic, ambiguous ending, The Mother of Invention won't be hanging around in my memory for too long.

EXTRAS ? 'Tears of a Child' music video.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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