Ant-Man is the latest in the seemingly never ending Marvel series and was directed by Peyton Reed. It stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Michael Pena, Corey Stoll and Evangeline Lilly.
The film opens with Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) release from prison. He is a burglar and prides himself on using no violence when committing his crimes. We find out that he has a daughter and that he wants to remain in her life as an honest man. However, despite his attempts to stay on the straight and narrow, he inevitably returns to what he knows best, thanks to Michael Pena’s excessive nagging. He breaks into a house to get at a safe, but all he finds is an old ‘motorcycle’ suit, which is actually the Ant-Man suit.
It turns out that the heist was engineered by Hank Pym (Douglas), who was the original Ant-Man. He sees something in Lang and needs him to don the Ant-Man costume. On the side of evil we have Darren Cross (Stoll). He was the protege of Hank Pym, but Pym did not trust him. Cross is now a twisted individual, who is developing his own shrinking suit, which he calls the ‘Yellow-Jacket’. Long story short, Pym and his daughter Hope (Lilly), train Lang so he can face Cross and stop him.
The film is very comedic and in my opinion, detrimentally so. Due to the glut of jokes, the movie is stripped of feelings of threat and danger. At no time was I concerned by anyone’s safety, unlike in other more serious comic book adaptations. Rudd cracks wise on numerous occasions, but many gags are stale and fell flat for me. One of the highlights is Michael Pena’s performance. Pure comedy, he seems eternally happy and his ridiculous tales are hilarious. I know I just battered the comedy angle in the movie, but Pena simply could not be ignored.
As the acting was mostly for laughs, it was hard to say who fared best. I was very impressed with Corey Stoll in House of Cards, but I thought he was a little disappointing here. He was too pantomime-ish for my liking. Michael Douglas was very good, but with that voice, he needs to play a villain. Paul Rudd was good, but didn’t do much fighting. Apparently he was bored stiff by his diet for a year, so he would look great in the movie. He does look fantastic for a guy in his mid-forties, but he only takes his shirt off for about a minute.
The highlight of the movie was Ant-Man’s ability to shrink. This was very cool and looked like nothing else I’ve seen. He can’t just use the suit though, he needs to learn how to work it. He needs to punch properly or he will kill people with his enhanced strength. He also has help from actual ants, who have different powers. The carpenter ant can fly, while the fire ants can create structures for him to utilise when he’s tiny.
This isn’t a bad movie by any means, just kind of average. It was well made and the visuals are great. Three out of five.