Monday, November 21, 2005

King of the Ants (2003)

Dude, there's total Aquarium etiquette being broken there...

Crime Drama Horror Thriller

Starring: Chris McKenna, George Wendt ("Cheers"; Gung Ho)

Directed By: Stuart Gordon (Dagon; Re-Animator)

Overview: When a small time thug takes on a job and gets double crossed, he undergoes a strange mental metamorphosis while imprisoned.

Acting: The caliber of actors here is, frankly, of the 'B' category, but there's Norm from "Cheers"! and he swears like a pirate in this, and hits our hero in the head repeatedly with a golf club. Anyways, all this to say that it's fine, with moments of cheese, but better good than bad, and with just enough big names to squeeze by. I think the direction was weak, frankly. Don't blame Norm.
Rating: 6

Cinematography: The overall look of the scenes had a touch of the low-budge. It's ok the rest made up for it, but the messed up face of our King half way through the film, really gross, really well done. The gore effects were super nice, and my guest was totally grossed out a couple times. And poor Norm, my, my.
Rating: 7

Script: The writing varied between, "Excuse me? Do people talk like this?" to "Ooo, well done." Opinions were clear, plot trod on without any confusion, but deliveries were convoluted. Not the best.
Rating: 6

Plot: This is what takes the cake overall. It's a really good story. It's very original in the direction it takes. You think it'll be this pretty standard 'Guy does job, Guy is a liability, Guy either wins or loses' but there's an interesting path, and a twisted love interest, with a great little ending. I really liked the story. Unfortunately the believability of some of the scenes bring the rating down a bit, but it's still the best part of the film.
Rating: 8

Mood: There were some high and mighty tough-guy super-hero scenes that made it a little too fantastical, a little beyond realistic, while still not being dramatic enough to be in the realm of suspension of disbelief. And his own best friend gets in his messed up, crazy, concussed face and leaves him in the street to die because he's spouting gibberish? HELLO?!?! Several repeated blows to the head will DO that to you. And all that after this 'friend' plays the hero and goes and rescues him singlehandedly. What is up with that guy's loyalties? Either way, little things like that brought this down a bit, but the vengeance payback plot and the theme of 'humans as ants', being worthless and puny? I liked.
Rating: 6

"So uh, I guess that'll teach you to scratch my face... HUH!?"

Overall Rating: 66% (Small, but Strong)

Aftertaste: It's a good effort and I enjoyed it. I especially like his vengeance shirt, I wish I had one... Really! It's nice. You have to watch a movie when your best friends recommend them you know? Another praise for TMN On Demand. Free movies...Nice and guiltless. I knew it wouldn't be the best, but gave it a chance anyways. You might like it. Won't go out of my way to recommend it though.