Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

I've spent much of my life declining the opportunity to watch movies, on the basis that I would one day have time to catch-up on them later. Lately I seem to have had that time...

Antz is a perfect example.

In 1998, I wasn't the least bit interested in shelling-out money to watch it at the cinema, preferring to instead catch it for free on TV in a few years. One evening in 2007 I found it just starting in New Zealand, but still deferred it to later, preferring to invest my Saturday night in a less passive activity. (I think I spent it updating my 10-months-behind blog)

Easter Saturday 2009 however, and BBC1 gave me the opportunity to nail it.

The jokes do their job, and there are no surprises in terms of character-development or philosophy, but what this comedy does have going for it is a good story.

For an animation, there are quite a few talky scenes, enabling us to properly get behind the characters and appreciate the political and social forces that are in play. General Mandible is a formidable villain, whose threatening attitude is thankfully never reduced by becoming a comedy lunatic, a handicap suffered by too many cartoon villains of late.

And his plan? He actually keeps that a secret from us too. Again, this makes for a much more intriguing story than if he'd explained his scheme to a henchman in scene 2.

There are some great moments of adventure too. The sequence when Z is trying to rescue Princess Bala from being stuck in a lump of bubble-gum underneath a human's shoe, all seen in slow-motion from the insects' perspective, is huge stomach-heaving stuff.

Great movie.


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