A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Antboy: Revenge of the Red Fury is a 2014 Danish tween superhero movie sequel to Antboy that contains some inappropriate humor and verbal and physical bullying. The superhero Antboy is shown urinating into a toilet, and his urine breaks the toilet. In another scene is the audible sound of flatulence. Two teen bullies who later transform into bad guys with superpowers verbally taunt an awkward tween girl trying to ice skate for the first time; they call her "loser" and "weirdo" before knocking her to the ground, and they knock down other skaters with hockey sticks. Antboy defeats another pair of bad guys by punching them in their crotch regions. The girl who is bullied on the ice rink later tries to get revenge on Antboy after she feels spurned by him and becomes angry and bitter at the whole world for rejecting her as a "misfit." Through the power of her mind, she causes Antboy's pants to fall down while he's trying to ask out a girl he's had a crush on for a long time. Aside from comic-book-style heroism, there really are no consequences for bullying, which seems to be shown more as a "fact of life" at school instead of something that's wrong.
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What's the story?
As he continues to rid his town of crime whenever and wherever he sees it, Pelle, when not Antboy, feels dissatisfied with what he's doing and how his town doesn't give him enough credit. He still hasn't won the heart of Ida, who seems to be falling for the "new kid" in school -- a seemingly sensitive vegan guitarist and animal activist -- and he isn't any more popular at school than he was before, and, well, sometimes it isn't easy being a tween with the superpowers of an ant. This only gets worse when he saves an awkward girl named Maria on an ice rink from two bullies who later become supervillains the Terror Twins; Maria gets a huge crush on Antboy, but when Pelle spurns her, she takes her father's red cloak of invisibility and becomes the Red Fury. She begins to torment Pelle and Antboy at every opportunity, causing peak embarrassment at his most awkward moments. But when she teams up with other supervillains to defeat Antboy once and for all, Maria must realize that her powers should not be in the service of evil and that Pelle's foolish and thoughtless behavior doesn't warrant such extreme revenge.
Is it any good?
Though not without some charm in its attempts to fuse superhero action with universal tween growing pains, this movie ultimately falls short. Nothing concrete really emerges from the action, and it doesn't add much that wasn't already in the original movie. Only one character seems to change for the better; overall, bullying doesn't really warrant much beyond a shrug and some over-the-top comic-book-style action. And because the movie is trying to do two things at once, it often falls short as the story gets muddled between "the new kid" in school trying to steal Pelle/Antboy's love interest from him and Maria's various humiliations causing her to become a villain, to say nothing of Pelle/Antboy's vacillations between being a superhero and being a kid. What should be a much simpler story is far too complex, and needlessly so.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how school and tween life are portrayed in this movie. Does it seem accurate? Why, or why not?
How is bullying addressed in this movie? Are there actual consequences for bullying, or is it shown to be a part of the challenges of growing up?
How is Antboy similar to and different from other superheroes?
- On DVD or streaming: December 25, 2014
- Cast: Oscar Dietz, Samuel Ting Graf, Amalie Kruse Jensen
- Director: Ask Hasselbalch
- Studio: Nimbus Film Productions
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Superheroes, Adventures, Book Characters, Bugs, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs
- Run time: 80 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- MPAA explanation: Some action sequences and rude behavior.
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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