Ant-Man: Movie Review

Ant-Man-UK-1-Sheet-v22.jpgWhen I first heard that Marvel was doing a movie for Ant-Man, I must admit that I had some reservations. I wasn’t really excited about the idea of watching an ant sized hero battling out evildoers because, come on! Anyhow, I finally caught up on my TBW pile and freely choke on my earlier sentiments. Ant-Man was great.

Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang, an ex con who finds that turning over a new leaf isn’t as easy as he thinks for someone with a record, even if he did have a masters in industrial engineering in his life before he committed the most intricate burglary against a major company overcharging its customers. Left with no choice, he does a job with his former cellmate Luis (Bobby Cannavale) and finds himself in an even more complicated situation – agree to sport the suit to pull off the biggest and most important sabotage to save the world using a specialized suit that gives him the ability to shrink at will, or face a life behind bars, losing his chance to ever be with his daughter for good.

While I was on the fence about the first five minutes of the film – Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) huffing and puffing about how his research is being stolen to create the tiniest and most powerful army of supersoliders that can turn the tide of every war was pretty much a hard sell of Pym’s noble intentions, but the film did eventually find its footing when it jumped to modern day and began to focus on Scott and his crew. Their interactions are highlights of the film in themselves.

Credits go to Paul Rudd, who, while he is better known as a comedian/guy next door in rom coms and buddy movies managed to create a charismatic and likeable character that audiences feel compelled to root for. He managed to build a separate character from those that he has been previously known for and still made the viewers like him. I believe this is the mark of a good actor. This time around, he was a father, a nice guy who got caught in a bad situation and at the same time, he portrayed a very intelligent character and wore that smartness so casually throughout the movie like its second skin. Yes, I loved Paul Rudd as Ant-Man.

I liked the script and the flow of this entire film. I liked that it was light and easy and I liked the banter among the characters. Corey Stroll was the perfect villain. He wasn’t over the top crazy but there is something to be said for subtle psychosis. Michael Douglas as Hank Pym was a hands down treat in every scene. He only has to be in a scene and it already works. Not a big fan of Evangeline Lilly’s wig though but she did a good job with her role. Scott’s crew was awesome, especially the goofy overly earnest Luis, who tells stories like a rapper tells rhymes. I love this dude.

Marvel has been pretty consistent with the CGI, and I liked how Scott blended with the computer generated ants in the film. It takes skill for CGI models to be able to embody human characteristics but the way the film did it made it work and helped build’s Scott’s relationship with his ant army.

All in all, I liked Ant-Man and the fact that it was presented as a standalone yet still connected to the Avengers universe. This provided a good set up for his eventual entry into the superhero group. The connection with the Avengers was sewn so well into the story that Pym shades Stark every so casually that audiences don’t even wonder, Stark who? Operating at a disadvantage with a micro-sized little known hero (pun intended) was a challenge to begin with but the film’s consistency with the Marvel brand as well as its effective character development were keys to overcome the challenges. It was witty, it was fun, it was cool and its highly recommended for those who already known Ant-Man from the comic books and for those who are just about to know him through this movie. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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