Since then, Mansquito has also been referred to as Mosquito Man but I feel that whether it be Mansquito or Mosquito Man the themes are just as relevant today. With that said, here is my review:
First of all, let me say that I’d like to applaud the effort the Sci-Fi Network made in making the first movie to portray the life of a Mansquito. But, now let’s get down to brass tacks, shall we? The opening of the movie had me completely sucked in (pun not intended). The ominous humming of distant mosquitoes seemed to heighten the movie’s score. Mosquitoes first appeared buzzing around the bus driver’s head and if your eyesight was failing you at this point (bless your little heart), the bus driver had the good sense to indicate. “I hate mosquitoes.” I paraphrase, but you get the picture. He acknowledged them. He knew somewhere in the back of his mind that this movie was progressing and he had to either fully commit or get off the bus (pun fully intended)! Needless to say, he stayed on the bus, dropping off the convict who was to become Mansquito at the laboratory where experiments in radiation were being conducted on mosquitoes and dropping us off at the beginning of something bigger than ourselves.
But, what ho? What’s this? The criminal has somehow slipped out of his handcuffs. The mosquito buzzing picks up and seems to crescendo at this point! And if you listen closely, it’s almost as if they’re whispering. Whispering, “Man”, “Squi”, “To”, “Man”, “Squi”, “To”, “MANSQUITO!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “AHHH! AHHHHH! AHHH! AHHHHH,” a choir on fire seems to scream. And you see that this is it. This is the splitting of the atom that chain reactions into the creation of a half man, half mosquito.
‘MANSQUITO, friend or foe?’
So much promise is packed into that opening that it’s almost disappointing when we find Mansquito doing the same predictable things that we’ve come to expect from Hollywood’s take on Mansquitos and their kin. Mindless killing, mindless killing, and yes, more mindless killing. It’s as if they’d completely forgotten the ‘friend’ part of ‘friend or foe’. And I suppose there’s some good reasoning behind this. The most important being that the tag line of the movie was actually ‘First they hunted for a cure. Now, they’re hunting for a monster.’ And, I have to think why? Why, when you’ve got such an amazing character to explore, would you spend all the time hunting him down to destroy him?
There are plenty of movies that begin like Mansquito but dare to dig deeper, coming-of-age stories where characters are given a chance to prove their worth in society before being hunted down. Let’s take, for instance, the 1993 flick, Rudy. Sean Astin stars as Rudy Ruettiger, a guy whose dream was always to play football for Notre Dame. Everyone tells him he’ll never make it. He’s too small, but that’s because they’re looking on the outside and not on the inside (and his insides were huge). Rudy sticks to and, in the end, fulfills his dream. It’s even based on a true story.
I know Mansquito isn’t ripped from the headlines of reality, but there have been fictional tales that have done the same as Rudy. The Goonies, for example. In it, Sean Astin stars as Mikey Walsh, a young boy who wants to find the treasure of One-Eyed Willie and save his neighborhood from being torn down. Everyone tells him he’ll never find it. He’s got asthma, but that’s because they’re looking on the outside and not on the inside (and his insides don’t need an inhaler). Mikey finds the treasure and, wouldn’t you know it, saves his neighborhood and catches a family of criminals, too.
Sci-Fi is different than plain ol’ fiction, sure, but, I’ve see it done in Sci-Fi, too. Right off the top of my head, there’s The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. In them, Sean Astin stars as Sam Gamgee and crosses genres from true story to Sci-Fi to prove once again that it’s not the outside size that counts, but the inside size. The One Ring is destroyed and the King is returned to his rightful thrown as Sam gets to live the rest of his days happily in his beloved Shire.
So, Sci-Fi, if you’re reading, please take note. Yes, a necessary part of being a Mansquito is sucking humans dry of all their life-blood. But, isn’t there more to this man-to this mansquito? Can’t we look past his proboscis and see what really makes him tick? Can’t we just, for one moment, imagine a world without borders, where man and mansquito get along and accept each other for who they are? I’d like to see, just once, Mansquito feel some compassion and question his existence and maybe even shed a tear. Take a page from the lives of Rudy, Mikey, and Sam. It’s more compelling to watch these characters struggle against great odds and find their place. And, in the case of Mansquito, maybe the stakes are too high. Maybe, ultimately, his natural human blood craving will prevent him from climbing the corporate ladder, but does he really have to die? Instead of the good detective catching the title character offguard and shouting, “Hey…Mansquito!” and blowing him up by shooting tanks of explosive gas, why can’t the good detective catch the title character offguard and say, “Hey, Mansquito.” and surprise him with a warm hug of understanding? Then, instead of Mansquito dying sad and lonely, maybe we’d see him driving into the sunset in a bright red convertible sports car, the top down, the wind blowing through his proboscis, and a phone rings. It’s his cell phone and it’s Mansquidette. She says, “Hey, it’s me. I’m in Vegas. I’m rolling the dice. I feel lucky and, oh yeah, I love you.”