The Prodigy (2005)
Directed by: William Kaufman | 119 minutes | action, drama, horror, thriller, crime | Actors: Holt Boggs, Matt Beckham, Ruth Osuna, Diana Lee Inosanto, Mark Hanson
‘The Prodigy’ is the textbook example of a well-made B-movie. Despite the meager budget, the film looks neat (albeit a bit grainy), the cast is quite strong and the soundtrack is well chosen. The script is also quite nice and the atmosphere too. Unfortunately, not everything is fine. The playing time is just way too long and a few faint side plots are unnecessary.
Truman Fisher (Boggs) is a conscientious criminal. After a failed robbery, he decides to step out of the business and build an honest life with his girlfriend. That’s not easy, because a mysterious hit man is on the hunt for our anti-hero. A confrontation is inevitable…
‘The Prodigy’ mixes different genres. The film uses themes from thriller, horror, action and detective films. That genre cocktail works out well, because the film never gets boring. There is always something happening. The side plot that highlights the relationship between Truman and his girlfriend (Osuna) is unfortunately less convincing. The couple does not fit together and talk past each other. Yet they seem to be very much in love. The female roles are quite thankless in this film and mainly serve as a catalyst for (revenge) action(s).
The action scenes look pretty good. Kaufman uses exciting camera angles and has chosen a driving soundtrack. Unfortunately, the choreography of the fights sometimes leaves something to be desired and shows that the actors have no martial arts background. Kaufman has a memorable movie villain in his hands with hit man Claude Rains. The seemingly invulnerable crook looks menacing with his mask and infrared camera. He radiates threat. Also off screen.
Boggs is a skilled protagonist and gives his character just that touch of charm that is needed. There is hardly any character development. That doesn’t bother me, because Kaufman keeps the momentum going. However, the film is too long. Some of the characters just stick with it and add nothing to the story. With a more compact running time, the film would have had more impact. It doesn’t get boring, but the film sometimes breaks down. Especially the quasi romantic scenes are just too long.