'Prodigies' disturbingly violent

Liz Braun, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:42 PM ET

The Prodigies is an animated sci-fi feature about adolescent angst and revenge fantasies among young geniuses. Too bad the carefully created story is so disgustingly violent that an appropriate audience for the film is impossible to imagine. You wouldn't expose a teenager to this, that's for sure, but the storytelling is so ham-handed that few adults would sit still for it.

Child genius Jimbo (voice of Jeffrey Evan Thomas) is growing up in an abusive home. As the cruelty in his household escalates, the animation changes to black and white and furious; next thing you know, Jimbo is an orphan living in an asylum.

A wealthy mentor with the same "gifts" as Jimbo rescues him and helps him get a life. Jimbo grows up to become a professor at a special school for super-bright kids. On the side, he searches for others with his special talents, and eventually finds five teens who can do amazing things with their minds.

A TV reality show about geniuses makes the kids famous. One night, they are brutally attacked by criminals in Central Park; again, the animation goes black and white and disturbingly violent, and when it's over, one teenager has been raped and smashed in the face so much she's hospitalized in a coma. This is not your Saturday afternoon cartoon animation, boys and girls.

From there, the five little bad seeds plot to get to the White House and blow up everybody. What jolly fun! No 11th hour reprieve can lighten up this dark, distressing, pointless exercise in ugly violence. If we could think of something positive to say, we would. Note the blank space.

This film is rated 18A


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