Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale, Abby Ryder Fortson
Directed By: Peyton Reed
Written By: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd
Rating: PG-13 (US) Running Time: 1 hr 57 min
On this journey to the movies, I was again joined by my brother, Andrew (38), and his daughter Kaitlyn (14). All of us were very excited about Marvel’s Ant-Man!
So I’ll start with the film’s problems. 🙂
First of all, the plot is essentially a re-working of the first Iron Man film. Big corporate interests, new tech, family drama, and professional rivalries. Only this time, Ant-Man is forced to walk the larger Marvel movie game plan, and incorporate elements of the Avengers versus Hydra story line established in the Captain America movies.
It also has a weak villain, in the form of an underdeveloped Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), aka, Yellowjacket. We get a little bit of back story about some poor treatment he received while working with Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), and some sloppily added dialog about ‘mental instability issues’ brought on by his recreation of Hank Pym’s super shrinking formula. But it’s never enough to properly establish his villainous ways and motivations, making him pretty forgettable.
That being said however, there’s a lot to enjoy in Ant-Man.
Paul Rudd was born to play Scott Lang, and his superb comedic sensibilities, winning charm and comic timing, make this movie and his character, a pleasure to watch. Michael Peña is also a lot of fun as Scott’s ex-partner in crime, Luis. His energetic story telling to quickly edited montages are some of the best moments in the movie.
Ant-Man also strikes a nice balance between a story with inherent serious consequences for its characters, and the lighter tongue-in-cheek approach taken in the writing and pacing of the movie. This is a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but never becomes overly silly either. Perfectly injecting itself into the larger Marvel universe of movies, while also being a decent standalone project in itself.
The visual effects are great, and the constant switching of scale and point of view is handled nicely, while also frequently used for great comic effect. The battles staged between Yellowjacket and Ant-Man being a real treat, as massive scale miniature action jumps to a human sized point of view, and children’s toys become fodder in the epic explosive battle between good and evil.
This film is a lot of fun, and should appeal to the general movie going public, as well as fans of Marvel. It’s simply a good time at the theater. Lighthearted, but not stupid. Action packed, yet loaded with great characters you can care about.
This visual effects are a real treat, so this film will be best enjoyed in the movie theater. At home, a HD screening on a large TV is recommended. The impact of this film will be reduced on a laptop, tablet or phone sized screen.
Best Moment: << mild spoiler >>
During the epic final battle between Yellowjacket and Ant-Man, they both get trapped inside a briefcase. Yellowjacket says something about ‘disintegration’, which prompts Siri on a nearby iPhone to start playing a track by The Cure, called, you guessed it – Disintegration! I had to admit I got a good laugh out of that, even while acknowledging the egregious plug for the movie’s soundtrack album.