Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Hive

First of all, I’d like to say I know I have no one to blame but myself for this. I have a strong weakness for cheesy movies, and when you commit to watching something like The Hive, you don’t really expect great cinema. I watched it anyway.

According to the boxcover, the plot was about humans struggling against ants in the forests of Brazil. Ants creep my wife out, so we popped it in. We immediately received our first surprise. Brazil is in Southeast Asia! I really never knew that.

In the tiny, southeast Asian island country of Brazil, we see a bright light fall to earth, and soon the Brazilians are being overrun with ants and eaten, starting with a woman and her infant. Kudos to the makers of the film for showing a baby getting devoured, as most wouldn’t go there. Brazil is in grave danger, so a company is hired to stop the ant hordes. The name of this company is….wait for it…Thorax. Thorax is headed by a guy who used to be a professor studying ants, but discovered they are dangerous, and devoted the rest of his career to fighting them, which he does very effectively, since he’s invented a raygun which fires anti-ant chemicals. Seriously. Thorax has a dashing crew of ant-fighters, the only recognizable one being Tom Wopat, who used to be a Duke on the Dukes of Hazzard. They spring into battle with the valiant cry, “Let’s liquefy some endoskeletons!” Seriously. (Although ants don’t actually have endoskeletons, they have exoskeletons. They don’t swarm, either, though all the experts in the movie claim they do.) Meanwhile the head of the team supplies the romantic subplot, due to his romance with a female scientist who is something of a bug appeaser. The actress playing her also cannot keep her freaking head still, and bobs it until you want to scream.

Anyway, the Thorax crew launches a brilliant counter-assault against the mass of ants, which consists of blasting them with their anti-ant rayguns. This has limited success, and Tom Wopat ends up with an ant in his ear. There are indications the ant is controlling him, but this never makes any sense, since Wopat becomes the most aggressively antagonistic member of the team, which would seem to be against the ants’ best interest. Maybe the ear-ant was a rogue. Whatever. The counter-attack seems to be a success, and the team receives the thanks of the grateful Brazilians, in their thick Thai accents.

Before you can say “darn those crazy ants”, the ants return. And the team leader and his head-bobbing honey go to a small island in the Brazilian archipelago to rescue 50 natives trapped by the ants. Because these island dwellers don’t have any boats of their own. Bobbing head discovers the ants have become more intelligent due to the compound Thorax has been blasting them with, and soon they are negotiating with the collective ants, who want the island for their own. Leaving a Brazilian child behind as hostage, the duo, after some quick love-making, return to the Brazilian Prime Minister and lay out the offer.

“We do not negotiate with ANTS!” The PM blusters.

“How about offering them half the island?”

“OK,” says the PM.

The twosome return to the island, with an increasingly ear-ant deranged Tom Wopat, and quickly hash out a deal. It’s all for nought, as Wopat has a bomb strapped to his chest. The bomb goes off, which kills many, many ants, and reveals the source of all the trouble was a glowing alien ant that organized the earth ants. This completely negates the previous explanation, but hey.

This is a movie for people who like terrible CGI, laughable dialogue, and piss-poor acting.

People like me.

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