Review: ANT-MAN

A healthy combination of humour and action has meant that Ant-Man is my surprise of the summer. You should find out if it’s yours too.

Smaller than your average Marvel movie.

ANTMAN

Ant-Man is a solid film. Aside from the occasional [and sometimes ham-fisted] wider-Marvel-Cinematic-Universe nods, you could quite easily watch it in isolation and not even know it was part of said MCU.

And that’s no bad thing.

Ant-Man has a wit and, with a wink and a nod to its source material, it knows its hero is/can be predominantly perceived as rubbish too. And best of all – it has fun with it.

ANT, MAN

Paul Rudd gives a good turn as our eponymous cat-burglar-turned-mini-superhero; carrying enough pathos and drive to make you believe that he would make the mistakes he makes. I guess that’s another aspect of what makes Ant-Man a good movie: you believe that any minute the lead could get a complete pasting – call it the ‘Indiana Jones’ effect, if you will.

Corey Stoll takes a break from catching catching poorly-plotted vampires and strikes a perfectly good rent-a-villain pose and, as antagonists go, he’s not so bad. I read recently that’d be good if just sometimes superhero movies weren’t about THE WORLD IS AT STAKE! and instead focused on smaller issues. The recent Netflix take on Daredevil tackled this challenge brilliantly. Ant-Man does a similar job here. Stoll isn’t out to take-over the world per se, he just wants to be [redacted].

Michael Douglas, as Dr Hank Pym, discoverer of the Pym Particle – the particle that makes molecule size control possible, is great – in all ages.

It’s no spoiler to say that the film opens in 1989 with a flashback to Pym’s earlier days. And, rather brilliantly, the specials effects boffins have done an incredible job.

 

So casual.

EDIT: Vulture has a great piece on how they did it.

If you know how hard this is to do, you’ll understand how awesome it is to make it look effortless.

Anyway, in Ant-Man, he’s our Obi-wan Kenobi.

Evangeline Lilly on the other hand, I can’t work out if it’s poor character building in the writing phase or just lack of belief in the material – but there’s something that doesn’t land for me. Not sure why. I’ll think on it.

And finally, Michael Pēna…

MP

…the guy who steals every damn scene he is in. He just nails it.

Ant-Man is a great little heist movie and I mean it when I say it: the more I think about it, it really doesn’t feel like a Marvel movie at all. Yeah there was a bunch of stuff about the original director leaving and, in some instances (if you know Edgar Wright’s work) you can feel his presence/absence in the film. But Ant-Man is here and this movie is better than no movie at all.

And it’s genuinely good!


In closing: I wasn’t sure I would like Ant-Man that much.

To be honest, I was quite close to not going to see it at the cinema all.

But I’m really glad I was wrong.

With a healthy combination of humour and action, Ant-Man is my surprise of the summer. You should find out if it’s yours too.

PS. Stay ’til the end: there are two post-credits sequences.

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