Violent 'Toys'

The marketing genius who decided to blow up Jack-in-the-Box's clown should have held out for a job on Barry Levinson's new film, "Toys" ("Overstuffed Toys," Dec. 18). The clown, after all, expired in a 30-second spot. "Toys" dedicates two hours to nothing less than toy-land genocide.

I went to see it because of the brilliant Robin Williams (rather subdued here). I was attracted by the fanciful look of the movie posters and trailers. Could it be, however, that the ad campaign's creators never saw the entire film? Although the first part is amiable fantasy, the last half becomes increasingly dark and nasty.

There were many small children in the matinee audience. What they got was: plush bunnies smashed by tanks; dolls with half their heads blown away by toy guns; a warehouse of lovable toys decimated by toy artillery; even a particularly winsome robot decapitated before our eyes. I don't know if the kids at the matinee will have nightmares; I suspect that I will.

The producers made a movie for adults, but they are promoting it as if it were heir to "Mary Poppins." The trailers and ads should be redone to make it clear that "Toys" is not a movie for children. Or for grown-ups like me.

CYNTHIA LAWRENCE

Studio City

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