My level of skepticism increases with each one of these comic book movies that come out. The films have been so successful recently that this has become it’s own genre. As good as the Marvel movies in particular have been, I feel like this is something that can’t last. I know one of these films will fall flat eventually and, as I watched the previews for Ant-Man, I couldn’t help believing that this would probably be the one.
Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) was a scientist who spent his life developing an armored suit that was capable of shrinking the wearer down to the size of an ant. Pym intended the technology for military use, but it was stolen by a group that had other, more sinister plans. Pym decides to recruit convicted cat burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to become the new Ant-Man and get the original suit back before it is too late.
What I really liked about this movie was it’s tone. Contrary to what most comic book movies try to do these days, this film is pretty light. It is refreshing to see a movie like this that stays in it’s lane and just tries to be fun. The movie has a great deal of humor that works very well. Most of the jokes are provided by Michael Pena, who is just terrific. This movie was a joy to watch, mainly because it didn’t try to be more than it should have been.
Obviously with the whole Ant-Man shrinking thing, visuals are a very big part of this film. These effects are handled very well by director Peyton Reed and his crew. When Ant-Man shrinks, it looks terrifically realistic. A lot is done with these segments that add to the enjoyment of the film. Regular things like a bathtub drain and toy trains are made to look menacing and provide some of my favorite and most enjoyable sequences of the film.
The original screenplay for this film was written by Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz) and it shows because the foundation of the movie is very well written. It was also clear to me that other people have worked on this script since Wright left the project. Overall this screenplay is not bad at all. The story is as good as it could possibly be with this type of premise. The side characters in the film are amazing, which is a typical characteristic of a great screenplay. I wouldn’t actually consider this to be a great screenplay, but rather a very good one. There are a few bothersome clichés used. My biggest problem with the movie is the character of Hope Van Dyne. This character could have been great and very instrumental to the film but was unfortunately pretty much just used as PC bait.
All the acting in the movie is good but the one that really stands out is Paul Rudd. I’m glad that he got this role and did such a good job with it. The light tone I mentioned earlier lent itself very well to Rudd’s talents. He has been one of my favorite comedic actors for years and I’m glad that he has been introduced to the Marvel universe.
This movie turned out to be a lot better than I was expecting. I had a great deal of fun with it and would certainly recommend it. The Hope character got on my nerves but I enjoyed pretty much everything else about the film. Ant-Man is a success because it is not afraid to be what it is and doesn’t try to be something it’s not. The Movie Man gives it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
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