Ant-Man Review

Ant-man

Marvel are getting good at this.

Having exhausted the main Avengers stable, Marvel have once more dipped deep into the barrel of lesser known and obscure characters to further their domination of multiplexes for summers to come.

But hey – obscure was last summer.

Walking trees.

Talking raccoons.

That formerly chubby bloke from Parks and Recreation.

As it turned out, obscure proved popular, which surely reinforced Marvel’s confidence to plough on with another lesser-known hero, even after their original director jumped ship.

Ant-Man, arguably one of the lesser-known Stan Lee creations, makes his cinematic debut in a big-budget number that’s part heist movie, part fifties sci-fi flick, and all fun.

Paul Rudd plays Scott Lang, a former cat burglar who spends most of his time with the cuddliest bunch of ex-convicts ever committed to the big screen.

Scott has just been released from prison but soon finds himself drawn back to his larcenous ways in order to pay child support for his daughter.

Meanwhile, Hank Pym (played by Michael Douglas, having a ball) is a scientist fighting to avoid his plans for the ultimate weapon from falling into the hands of unhinged former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll).

Hank’s ultimate weapon consists of a suit which can make the wearer shrink to the size of an insect.

Which apparently is an advantage in combat situations.

Just go with it.

Hank thinks Scott is just the person to help him protect this technology, though is fiercely doubted by his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly).

In short, Marvel seem to have churned out a solid product once more, even if they are doing so in a progressively factory-line manner.

Paul Rudd has buckets of charisma in the lead role, though my friends and I have long since debated whether Rudd can carry off a leading-man role or not. I say yes, they say no.

Well, in this film you never really get the opportunity to find out.

For Rudd is surrounded by a colourful and pretty expansive supporting cast. I mean, even his comic sidekick has comic sidekicks.

Not to mention Rudd’s character having a child on top of a mentor-figure and a love interest. And there are also several nemeses, ranging from the scenery-chomping Stoll as Cross to Bobby Cannavale as a cop who also happens to be Lang’s ex-wife’s beau.

That said, Ant-Man actually manages to juggle all components fairly well.

Much has been made of the departure of Edgar Wright from directorial duties last year, and the knock-on impact on the finished product.

However, Peyton Reed has done a decent job of retaining much of what one suspects to be Wright’s and Joe Cornish’s original script and flair, whilst simultaneously sticking to his presumed remit of cross-referencing the film to as much of Marvel’s wider franchise plans as possible.

Yes, there are cameos, as well as mid-credit and post-credit scenes.

In fact, the irreverence and comedy are actually so strong at times, that the superhero stoicism and effects-heavy action sequences feel mostly like intrusions, albeit of the tolerable kind.

All of this amounts to a fun summer blockbuster, provided you don’t think about it too much.

Conor Brennan

Comments
One Response to “Ant-Man Review”
  1. avatar David Murphy says:

    Great review. Excellently informative about the movie industry and the context in which this movie was made. Much more than just a plot review here. Well done!

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