It doesn’t take much to spot a SyFy movie. Take a tired and over-used idea, pepper in a bland cast with the odd has-been star, chuck in some awful CGI effects and an easily defined villain. Often one that is a product of man’s own meddling in science they don’t fully understand. Rinse and repeat.
Swarmed is (unsurprisingly) about wasps. Yellow jacket wasps who have been sprayed with an experimental pesticide that has turned them super-aggressive and super deadly. One sting is enough to kill, which means the swarm that is soon to attack the annual burger cook-off will cause chaos.
Will scientist Kent (Michael Shanks) and Cristina (Carol Alt) be able to warn the town in time? Will anyone actually listen to them? Or will Kent be held responsible seeing as it’s his experiment that causes the mutation in the yellow jackets?
Directed by Paul Ziller, Swarmed is so by the numbers its hardly worth mustering up much of an opinion. Is it rubbish? Not at all. Is it any good? Not at all. The story told here has been told from everything to sharks to ants to cockroaches to slugs. Whatever creature you can think of, this same story has been done.
The actors are hardly putting in a shift and deliver many of their lines with very little enthusiasm. You can almost see many of them thinking about what they’re going to get at catering once they’re done.
As for the stars themselves, the yellow jacket wasps are part real and part CGI. When individual and crawling on something, the film shows off the evil little buggers in all their glory. When asked to do something, like fly or sting, it becomes CGI and it is about as awful as you might expect. Although there is something unintentionally hilarious about an actor swatting at nothing constantly.
By the time the cook-off chaos is reached, the film has done everything possible to put you to sleep. Is it worth staying awake to see what happens here? No. Unless you enjoy extras flailing at CGI wasps and falling over as they run.
Almost to prove just how ‘by the numbers’ Swarmed is, once the killer wasps have been defeated we pan slowly to a bin. What is inside? Remnants of the nest and what do we see? Only the Queen still alive and laying eggs. Dum-dum-duuuuummmm!
The Final Score - 4/10