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King of the Ants (I) (2003)

 -  Crime | Drama | Thriller  -  13 June 2003 (USA)
6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 2,945 users  
Reviews: 68 user | 43 critic

A young drifter discovers his true calling when he's hired by a mobster to stalk and kill a prominent accountant, and then decides to seek revenge when the stingy thugs try to kill him rather than pay him.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Sean Crawley (as Chris L. McKenna)
...
Susan Gatley
...
Duke Wayne
...
Beckett
Lionel Mark Smith ...
Carl
...
George
...
...
Maureen (as Carissa Koutantzis)
Briana Beghi ...
Maureen's Daughter
...
Catlin Gatley
...
Tony
Antoine Joseph ...
Drooling Idiot
...
Meade Park
...
Gary (as Steven Heller)
Ken 'Bam Bam' Johnson Jr. ...
Apartment Kid
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Storyline

The handyman Sean Crawler meets the electrician Duke Wayne while painting a house and they drink a couple of beers together and have a small talk. A couple of days later, Duke offers a job to Sean, and they meet the corrupt constructor Ray Matthews in a golf club. Ray proposes Sean to stalk the accountant from the City Hall Eric Gatley, who is investigating him, and report every movement of Eric to Ray. While chasing Eric, Sean sees his wife Susan and has a crush on her. When Ray offers US$ 13,000.00 to Sean to kill Eric, he accepts, but steals Ray's dossier before leaving the crime scene. However Sean is double-crossed by Ray and is brutally tortured by the real estate mobster and his men in a lonely ranch, but he does not tell where the file is. Sean succeeds in escaping, but severely wounded, he goes to the mission where Susan works and four weeks later he is healed. He tries to start a new life with Susan, but when she finds the documents and the truth about him, he plots a ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and sexuality, nudity and language | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 June 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

King of the Ants  »

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1.85 : 1
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Referenced in King of the Ants: Behind the Scenes (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of Stuart Gordon's best movies in years
20 December 2012 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

The plot: A double-crossed hit-man has to choose between redemption and vengeance, until the the choice is made for him.

Many of Stuart Gordon's movies have an amoral streak in them, but this is probably the most amoral movie that he's ever made. The lack of tension-relieving, wacky humor, like in most of his movies, highlights it and makes it even more disturbing. The gory violence just makes it even more disturbing, unlike the splatter comedies that he's commonly associated with (such as Re-Animator and From Beyond).

Long-time fans of Gordon have probably sat through many movies that were critically despised (perhaps none more so than Space Truckers, which attracts way too much hate, in my opinion). King of the Ants, however, is a real return to greatness. Yes, there are many disturbing, weird, and violent scenes, but underneath it all is a story that's actually quite intelligent and mature. Admittedly, this is a bit rare for Gordon, who tends to wallow in direct-to-video exploitation. I'm really glad that he chose to do something that he obviously believes in, because I've known for years that he could do a truly great film, if he just got the budget and proper inspiration. I might compare it to A History of Violence, an intriguing deconstruction of violent exploitation movies, made by a lauded director known primarily for his own exploitation movies. Unlike Cronenberg, however, I think Gordon shows no desire to break into the mainstream. His films remain too dark and disturbing.

If movies like King of the Ants and A History of Violence show us just one thing, it's that characters from these kinds of violent movies are incredibly disturbing when transposed into real world situations.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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