Film Scouts Reviews


by Jason Gorber

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Existentialism. Marx. Thomas Moore. Woody Allen.
Computer generated bugs. As Seseme Street or the SAT's would so
eloquently put it, which of these does not belong? Frighteningly,
and perhaps impressively, the correct answer is 'none of the above', as
all these elements are wedded in this latest gee-whizz, full marketing
speed ahead bug movie from Dreamworks.

Who would have thought that Sylvester Stallone, Sharon Stone and Dan
Aykroyd would inhabit the same narrative space as the line 'the workers
control the means of production'? Could it be possible that this
film is the most explicit anti-fascism film to be made in Hollywood since
Chaplin's THE GREAT DICTATOR? If Orwell can use pigs, why can't
Katzenberg use ants to tell the tale of individualism amongst the masses,
and of joining together as individuals to maintain a collective

Of course, most of the political rhetoric will go over the antennae of
most of the intended audience. Still, if we are to understand LION
KING as a kick in the ass to Gen-X laissez faire types to go an get a
job, then ANTZ surely must be seen as a sophisticated political
commentary. Even the white guilt of a couple of buzzing Wasps leads
one to the conviction that this film is a veiled attempt to infuse the
public with the left wing machnations of the Hollywood elite. Or,
at least, that's how McCarthy would have put it. In the end,
Insectopia is nothing more then the waste of a consumer culture - the
revolution in Russia, after all, just paved the way for McDonalds and

The animation is far better then the previews led one to believe, and the
story is clever enough that it'll keep the interest of the jaded old
critters as much as the larvae and maggots. ANTZ will no doubt
infect theatres and video shelves for many years to come, and that's not
nearly as bad a thing as I expected it to be.

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