5.04.2005

Movie Review: Locusts

"They're grasshoppers not tarantulas."

Well, you'd be surprised. They're more like resistant to like every single pesticide, can reproduce like infinity more times than a regular locust, and can travel totally like 300 miles in a single day. Peter, played by John Heard, who shares his stage name with his more worthy performance as Peter McAllister in Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Peter makes it clear that these are his locusts..."My locusts!" The drama is set.

Lucy Lawless, or as I will call her Xena: Warrior Princess, is dealing with a dull marriage at home. "I'm just sick and tired of feeling like I'm married to myself." Her husband, some dude from some episode of Dawson's Creek, also feels the tension in this relationship. Her job as some uber-bug expert for some ridonculoid government agency is taking much of her time. He feels like her theme is "Bugs first." I could be wrong but when bugs take priority in a relationship, it may be time to check things out.

Xena wastes no time in dealing with the issue of Home Alone Dad's crazy bugs. She has them all torched. OR SO SHE THINKS! CBS geniuses thought that they'd totally shock the viewer with a twist this early in the film. Creative filmmaking. Six, hear this, six locusts escape originally. The filmmaking team also teamed up with CBS for another genius move: 20 minutes without a commercial. But not 20 minutes without an attack! Right before the first commercial break, two people are sleeping in a tent when locusts start popping through the ground into the tent and attacking them. The scene ends with a Dali-like close up of a locust's eye digging into what one can only imagine is human flesh. Even though the grain of this footage is totally different than the rest of the movie and it obviously looks like stock footage from Marty Stauffer's Wild America, one can only imagine what will happen next. If the drama in this scene were the drawing of a newspaper, it would be sub-Ziggy quality.

Two locusts escape on the East Coast and four hitch a plane ride to California. One may argue that it is too coincidental or just too scripted that the first place attacked is the town of Home Alone Dad. However, this involves clever watching. One realizes that this is just evidence of “his locusts” coming home. They locusts spread at massive rates from both sides of the country and aim their attack inward. They attack the coasts with a great degree of success and swam toward the heartland. A four-star military officer is dead set on dropping VX gas on the rural areas (“because not many people will notice”). At this point we start to see the underlying premise of this film.

The post-Rather CBS network is obviously shifting their political bent. This film is obviously a Red State propaganda piece. The locusts, a human creation originating in the Blue State areas, do not know what they are up against when they face the apocalyptically minded heartland. When the bugs swarm a Pittsburgh office building, a man starts railing with Biblical passages. This would not seem so unusual except his only role to this point was the suave businessperson who is the object of a young girl’s fancy. Obviously, this is a film. He starts pulling out his premillenial charts and scatting off verses. “The hand of God blacked out the sky… a swarm of locusts will come on the eve of the apocalypse.” How will the Red States prevail with a crazy military man trying to VX them?

Enter Xena. Instead of kicking some Tarzan butt or something, this time she cries, “I am pregnant and hormonal and you don’t want to cross this mother.” If she were pregnant with locusts I feel this movie would have (a) been much more exciting, (b) proved more biblically sound, and (c) been more realistic. Nevertheless, she regulates and the Red States rally to what may be the most anti-climactic moment in movie history…EVER! I’m serious, we’re talking more anti-climactic than Titanic. The Red States come up with the idea that locusts will be attracted to weather balloons and then all dive into two strands of power lines, one protecting the heartland from the East, and one from the West. Meanwhile, we witness the only death attributed to the locusts: Home Alone Dad. He cries, “Tell my family I love them.” While this is a valid and realistic line to deliver, something like “KEVIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!” would probably have been delivered with as much believability. Do they seriously expect us to believe that when all it took was two locusts to start a swarm of billions (maybe even trillions!) that every single locust will crash into the same power lines in a matter of minutes? Alas, the Apollo-11 control booth starts cheering and all is well in the Red States. Furthermore, liberal scientists learn that they shouldn’t mess with God’s creation.

“My locusts? Pssssh…” said the Red States.

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