Monday, June 1, 2009

King of the Ants (2003)

King of the Ants

Written by Charlie Higson
Based on the novel by Charlie Higson
Directed by Stuart Gordon

Sean Crawley....Chris McKenna
Duke Wayne....George Wendt
George....Timm Sharp
Ray Matthews....Daniel Baldwin
Susan Gatley....Kari Wuhrer


Sean Crawley is a handyman struggling to get by. When he meets tough-guy electrician Duke, things start to look up. Duke’s boss, a crooked contractor named Ray Matthews, hires him for some morally ambiguous grunt work—following do-gooder accountant Eric Gatley. When the job turns up the bad news that Gatley is about to expose Ray’s corruption, the ante is upped and Sean is hired to whack him, for a cool thirteen grand.

But Ray doesn’t hold up his end of the bargain, and Sean threatens to expose him on his own. After a kidnapping and a barrage of brutal beatings in the desert, Sean’s inner animal is unleashed and he escapes back to the city where, as fate would have it, he finds himself trying to start a new life with the unlikeliest of people. But his haunting past just won’t leave him alone. Not, at least, until he ties up a few loose ends.

As you can see, the title of the film is a bit misleading. King of the Ants makes you think of a black-and-white drive-in flick in which some poor hapless soul is buried alive in irradiated soil, only to reemerge days later with the uncanny ability to control ants. Instead, it’s a pretty psychotic thriller that is just as morally ambiguous as Sean Crawley’s initial job. The protagonist murdered another man in cold blood for money, and that’s how he got into the mess. And yet we still root for him. And why? Because that’s how these films work.

It’s a fast paced entertaining throwback to the exploitation film, even if the violent scenes aren’t as effective as perhaps they should have been. There were some nice prosthetics, and some trippy hallucinatory scenes to boot, and a little cynical philosophy thrown in for good measure, all of which worked well. The performances were strong and solid all around, and it was great to see George “Norm” Wendt go against the type.

Highly recommended, if just for the opportunity to say to yourself, “Uh, dude? You got a little neck in your hair.”


View the trailer below!


2003
Rated R
102 minutes
Color
United States
English

King of the Ants is currently ranked #73,439 in DVDs at Amazon.com. Read more about it at the IMDB, rent it at Netflix, or buy it today!

1 comment:

  1. I will check it out whenever it makes itself available, should compliment Mosquito Man nicely =D

    ReplyDelete

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