Another Marvel superhero movie? Honestly!
We all know how it goes: connections to the other films in the Marvel/Disney universe will abound; the lead actor will have at least one shirtless scene where he gets to show off his ripped abs; there will be special effects and cheesy jokes galore; and it will be about two hours long.
And Ant Man lives up to all of these Marvel staples. And it is great.
Paul Rudd is his usual charming self in the lead role of Scott, known to almost no one as Ant Man. The man known as Ant Man, if he were widely known, is Hank Pym, played by this movie’s “power hitting” older actor who does not need to have a six pack, Michael Douglas. Female sass is provided by Evangeline Lilly. And Michael Pena plays the comic relief side kick to Scott, and is so good that he at times runs away with the movie.
But the real star is the special effects. Not since Land of the Giants and Honey I Shrunk the Kids has there been so much work on scale – though thinking about it I am sure most of the scenes are CGI so its probably not really that impressive. But what it may lack in “small firsts” the film more than makes up for in humour – the whole fight around the train set, while “spoiled” by the trailers, is still hilarious.
Ant Man is a hero on a smaller scale (as it were). His heroing is to steal experimental technology that, should it fall into the wrong hands, could bring catastrophe to the planet. Of course, things go a little wrong (as it were) and there is an amusing but overlong diversion over to Avengers territory on the way to that final showdown.
So it doesn’t hit all its marks. Some of the scenes with Scott trying to bond with his family are a little cloying and Scott’s rivalry with his daughter’s step dad who also happens to be a cop assigned to looking into the Ant Man heist… well, that is a little coincidental. But with Rudd and his effortless charm working well with the severe haircut of Lilly and the cranky superiority of Douglas, the cast hold everything together super well, while the special effects crew keep everything looking absolutely amazing, with zooms in and out at a dizzying but still understandable pace.
Apparently this is one of the poorest opening of the Marvel/Disney films but it doesn’t deserve to be. It is fun, exciting, entertaining and possibly spawning a sequel. Though maybe not, as while I am sure we will see Ant Man again, it might be more in the other films in the Marvel/Disney universe than starring in his own small vehicle.
Verdict: Ant Man is a fantastic romp through silliness and the microscopic world. The cast are all excellent, revelling in the very small scale (pardon the pun) superhero world in which they live, devoid of the earth shattering foes of the other Marvel films. And that grounds the film and gives it a heart the others struggle with. 8 yellow jackets out of 10.