What Just Happened?
Zekeriyah | Chicago, IL | 08/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I found myself saying that quite a bit throughout this movie, actually. As many of you no doubt know, I've taken it upon myself to watch all of the 'Man-Eater' films. If you don't know, these are a bunch of low budget horror films that debuted on Sci-Fi channel and feature various animals running amok and attacking people. You know, like grizzly bears, sharks, crocodiles, Bengal tigers, giant squid or, in this particular case, swarms of ants. Well, sort of. But I'll get to that in good time. And trust me, this one REALLY takes the cake!
My girlfriend picked this one up as a surprise gift, and we watched it the other night. All I can say is... what just happened? We found ourselves laughing through the entire movie, so some of my critiques might not be entirely accurate. Anyway, the movie is set in a 'generic SE Asian archipelago' (but incidentally filmed in Thailand) and possibly set in the future, as the high-tech exterminators in the film seem to wear space suits and shoot LASER BEAMS at the swarm of ants. Yes, you heard me correct, freaking LASER BEAMS! Much like the ants, however, these consist of cheesy, hastily done CGI artwork. But the ANTS really take the cake, not the least of which because they do stuff like... oh, form gigantic flying fists! Made entirely out of ants!
Mind you, I didn't go in expecting this to be all that scientific of a film, and (in fact) army ants do form 'living bridges' by joining up like that... sort of. But still, this film REALLY strained the limits of credibility here. Most of the actors weren't all that interesting, aside from the two chicks (neither of whom get eaten by ants, by the way, despite what the buxom babe on the cover may lead you to think) and the Asian dictator guy who pops up every now and then. But the crowning glory of this film is part way through when the ants form a LIVING COMPUTER (!) by generating electricity (!!) and conduct a hostage negotiation with the humans (?!?!). Oh, that and the fact that aliens were involved somehow (which we only find out in the last five minutes or so).
So, my opinions of this... abomination? Well, it was pretty funny. Surreal almost, in fact. Like I said, between the gigantic ant fists and the references to an (unseen) spaceship, I'm not entirely sure what to make of this one. Its VERY different from the other Man-Eater flicks like 'Man-Eater,' 'Croc,' 'Eye of the Beast,' and the recent 'Hybrid,' thats for sure. Much more sci-fi content. If you like baaad movie, you can't miss this one. It is the cheesiest thing I've seen in quite a long time."
Oh, the pain. oh, the misery.
Robert P. Beveridge | Cleveland, OH | 05/30/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"The Hive (Peter Manus, 2007)
Five minutes into The Hive, I knew it was going to be awful. I propose a new unwritten rule of film reviewing: any movie that uses CGI blobs to depict any sort of swarming creature is automatically awful.
Ten minutes into The Hive, I had forgiven the CGI blobs and was convinced I was going to be watching the best [censored for Amazon consumption] killer ant movie since The Naked Jungle. (Okay, maybe since It Happened at Lakewood Manor. But you get the idea.) First off, the most professional main titles I've seen on just about any movie I've watched on the Sci-Fi Channel, and that goes for theatrical releases as well. And then, well, how cool is the Thorax hardware? Put together body armor and big guns and ants and I'm sold.
Twenty minutes into The Hive, we see the first ant tentacle. Regard immediately went back into the dumpster. Unfortunately, it never surfaced again.
In case you need a plot summary for a killer ant movie: there are killer ants. There are humans trying to stop the killer ants. What more do you need to know? Well, you should probably know that the humans are using what look like laser guns, and the ants take the concept of "hive mind" to a whole new level of cheesy and stupid.
I will give this movie one thing-- it introduced me to the quite beautiful Jessica Reavis, the rest of whose work I will now be hunting down. However, nothing else about the movie is worthwhile. Manus and writer T. S. Cook (can you believe this guy was responsible for The China Syndrome?) find every possible way to make this movie as awful as possible, and exploit them aggressively. I would imagine that actually being faced with an army of killer ants would be preferable to sitting through the movie again. *
Bakuryuu Tyranno | England | 12/26/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Okay firstly, this movie is very weird. Masses of army ants swarm everywhere, causing the army of an Asian country to call in four American pest exterminators because you know, pest exterminators are much more adept killers than army guys.
And naturally these guys have weapons surpassing any technology seen before anywhere. They can disperse their destructive power over a wide area and for some reason never hurt anything but insects. Is their ammunition somehow designed to only affect insect DNA?
As for the army ants, aside from swarming everywhere and devouring people they have the ability for form huge tentacles that may or may not have hands at the end, some kind of computer mainframe thing and a bizarre giant ant.
Yes, its definitely a strange movie. The only downsides are I expected it to be a bit more chaotic (there's a lot of scenes of people standing around discussing their plans) and I was hoping someone would make a ovie about regular army ants before movies where they have additional abilities was made.
But really,the main problem with sci-fi channel movies is that they're generic monster movies and this is anything but. It may be zany and over-the-top, but it is an original, inventive, genuinely entertaining sci-fi movie."
The CGI Hive
Richard Nervous | Florida | 09/11/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After reading many positive reviews on this one I took the plunge and bought it, that was not a good idea. What did I expect? I really didn't expect much really, knowing the type of movie it was I just wanted it to be entertaining. I knew there would be tons of CGI and it would probably be pretty bad as well but I was ready to watch it anyway.
The biggest challenge I had with this one is that it is more Sci-Fi than it is horror. The cover is definitely misleading as it looks like it might be a fun gorefest, but I didn't pay attention to the box and notice that it was a SyFy production, my goof. I would have avoided it altogether if I had known.
The film is not horrible but it really doesn't deliver the goods, sure there is a lot of CGI, but that's to be expected in any of the Man Hunter series. Here are the pros and cons as I see them:
An interesting story (it's a little bizarre but fun)
Poor CGI (told you I don't hate it)
The con's really outweigh the rest of it. It starts off in the first 20 minutes moving really fast and then all of a sudden it completely stops all the action for 45 minutes of dialogue and science. I guess this part was for the Sci-Fi fans which I'm generally not a part of and it completely destroyed the momentum the movie was building. The film also had no gore while the box art made it look like this movie was going to be somewhat explicit.
It's not terrible but I'd rather spend another 90 minutes with "Infestation" which is a similar movie but really delivers the goods and is a fun ride as well.
This could have been better with more action in the middle building to a great climax.