One of the ongoing themes of ’80s movies… well, beloved ’80s movies, anyway, was a bunch of young kids getting involved in adventures they really shouldn’t be on. That’s been retired mostly because Steven Spielberg wants Oscars, but the spirit lives on in Antboy, which basically asks what Spider-Man would be like if he were twelve, not sixteen.
Antboy is a Dutch production with a plot that will sound suspiciously familiar: A young boy, dealing with bullies and the usual problems that come with being in middle school, is bitten by an ant. Suddenly he’s got the proportional strength of an ant, the ability to climb walls, the ability to eat anything, and more… problematic “abilities”. Here’s the trailer:
Apparently this is based on some popular children’s books in Denmark, but the trailer itself is both impressively produced and has a very nice ’80s movie vibe to it; the fact that it’s got shout-outs to the 1989 Batman and Kick-Ass, of all movies, hints that there’s a bit more to this than just making kids laugh with slapstick. Or at least that the filmmakers are aware adults will be watching this thing too.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a US release quite yet; it won’t be premiering in Denmark until this October, but it will be having its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. And then, hopefully, we’ll get a crack at it, if for no other reason than a mugger getting his ass kicked by a sixth-grader is always funny.