Monday 2 August 2010

Movie Review: Destination: Infestation (2007)

Ants On A Plane.

Without Samuel L. Jackson.

Without the sly humour.

And on a TV movie budget.

Anyone choosing to sit through Destination: Infestation (also known as Swarm) will get what they deserve: a dim-witted, cheapo rip-off of a concept that was dodgy to begin with.

A plane full of every stereotype imaginable is infected by mutated killer ants. It just so happens that Dr. Carolyn Ross (Jessalyn Gilsig), an entomologist, is on board , and of course she is an attractive widow and ready to be seduced by the hunky air marshal Ethan Hart (Antonio Sabato Jr.). Ross and Hart have to combat the ants and ensure a safe landing. Meanwhile, sinister government types are plotting to ensure that everyone on-board, whether ants or humans, perish in order to avoid having to deal with the mutated bugs.

It is all played in all seriousness without a trace of humour, irony or wit. We are treated to endless shots of ants scurrying in and out of miscellaneous vents, or marching menacingly all over electric wires.

Meanwhile, the disposable passengers act out their cardboard characters with all the skill of a high school play matinee performance: the drunk young man constantly demanding drinks and the obnoxious fiance proving himself a coward. The more serious characters find time for long-winded psychoanalytical discussions, while Dr. Ross and Marshal Hart get all romantic in the cargo hold, ankle-deep in jet fuel and with killer ants swarming them.

And in a moment that will haunt screenwriter Mary Weinstein for the rest of her life, the plane is saved when Dr. Ross takes a wild swing with a large hammer at a random pipe to release the flow of fuel to the engines. The inventiveness on display opens the debate about who is smarter: the passengers, the filmmakers, or the ants.

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