Every so often a film comes across my desk at ye olde Biff Bam Pop headquarters that I’m completely unaware of. Such was the case with the animated French film, The Prodigies, which hit DVD this past Tuesday. Based on a novel by French writer Bernard Lenteric, it’s the story of five brilliant and powerful teens with psychic powers who band together and seek revenge after one of their own is attacked. In the meantime, their would-be mentor who shares their skills contemplates joining with them. The film is clever and violent and definitely not something you’d see coming out of Disney.
But is it any good? Find out after the jump!
The Prodigies is a mixed bag, as far as I’m concerned. I really loved the style of the film – it’s not nearly as grandiose as something from Dreamworks or Disney, but the computer-animation absolutely fit with the subject matter. The scope was grand and New York looked great, but then again, you’d really have to try hard to screw up The Big Apple.
Whether it was the translation (this was originally a French film, don’t forget) or simply the original story, I did think that the film had issues with its script. Apart from the main character of Jimbo (the original prodigy, as it were), there was almost no development for any of the other characters, which made it hard to care about what was going on or what would happen to them (apart from the violent assault on 14-year old Liza, which was hard to watch). And when you don’t care about the characters, it’s hard to care about a movie. There are also some serious plot holes which are never explained, like why would the benevolent billionaire who takes in Jimbo leave his company to his clearly mean daughter rather than his surrogate and brilliant son?
Though definitely visually impressive, ultimately, it’s the lack of story that ultimately sinks The Prodigies for me. Perhaps I’ll learn French one day and give it another shot.