"The Prodigy" tells the story of small-time enforcer Truman Fisher's vicious conflict with a sadistic assassin who has chosen the unwilling Truman to be his successor. The assassin, who ... See full summary »
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Vittorio De Sica,
"The Prodigy" tells the story of small-time enforcer Truman Fisher's vicious conflict with a sadistic assassin who has chosen the unwilling Truman to be his successor. The assassin, who goes by the alias Rains and whose exploits have become the source of legend among Truman's underworld colleagues, drives Truman, through the pressure of constant violence and grief, to understand his own capacity for both bloodshed and compassion. Ultimately this reveals to Truman that he as with all of us, must find our place in this world or as Rains would say "our place in this grand design." This action begins quickly as Truman meets with a turncoat from a rival gang. This tense showdown erupts quickly into mayhem, when Rains makes his unexpected entrance. In the wake of the ensuing bloodbath, Truman is forced to reevaluate his own role in the small, violent world he inhabits, suddenly aware that there are larger powers at work which he does not understand. It soon becomes obvious that the ... Written by
Super-duper-ultra violent but completely incoherent
The Prodigy begins with a drug deal going sour. Only instead of 2 sides facing off against each other in a typical Mafioso fashion, someone dressed like the Scarlet Pimpernel but with the aggression of Jason Voorhees on crack, appears out of nowhere armed with a zillion weapons and cuts them all down before getting into a brutal fistfight with last man standing Truman Fisher. The action is so searingly intense, it makes recent actioners like Running Scared look like a 70s episode of Seasame Street in comparison.
The mystery villain is soon revealed to be some sort of mystical mega-psycho who goes by the name of Claude Rains (as he is, in a way, an invisible man) after he kidnaps the nephew of a gang boss. Truman Fisher is sent to find him but discovers that there is some kind of weird connection between him and Rains.
That is where my understanding of the film ends as it becomes far too messy and unfocused. At a running time of 2 hours I feel a lot of fat could have been cut to keep a tighter, more nervously wrought pace. Whenever Rains is on screen, doing his shooting, slashing and torturing the film absolutely soars. But in between, when Fisher is going from one place to another, it really lags. And by the end you won't have a clue what's going on or why. Less filler during the second act and more coherence in the third would have made this film so much better. I wasn't the only one who felt this way as there were several people in the audience who left halfway through.
Made on an unbelievably small budget of $219,000 the film honestly looks 10 times that amount. The action and fighting is amazing and Rains is a truly terrifying, imposing villain who pushes this film well out of the Crime genre and into Horror.
Obviously, since the budget is so small, it won't star anyone you've really ever heard before but they do just fine. A few characters are completely superfluous and could have been cut-out in a more preferable, leaner running time however.
The film is surprisingly stylish and action-packed considering it's low-budget nature but that doesn't excuse the increasing lack of sense as it goes on.
Still, it's a fine attempt at film-making and adds something new to both Action and Horror.
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