There haven’t been too many surprises this summer. Mad Max: Fury Road is still the best movie of the season so far, Terminator Genisys was a general disappointment; however, the next biggest movie may have the smallest hero in it, but some of the biggest fun. Yes, Ant-Man is actually quite entertaining. Marvel manages to impress even with its’ most dubious of superhero choices.
Scott Lang is a bit of a con-man. Shortly after getting out of prison, he is recruited by Dr. Hank Pym to help him by pulling off a heist that could save the world. Luckily, he gets to do it while wearing a suit that gives him the ability to shrink in size, while increasing his strength. Oh, and there’s the whole talking to ants thing, too.
Marvel does something here that can only be referred to as genius. I mean, I don’t know how the planning went down for Ant-Man, but I can only imagine Marvel had it figured out from square one. Casting Paul Rudd as Ant-Man/Scott Lang AND getting him to co-write the script – with Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish and Adam McKay? What could easily have been a lack-luster, bland script was made into a funny, unique spin on the superhero story. When I think about it, this has a very paint-by-numbers feel to it. Without the humor it would not have been much of a film. But the comedy – and a few well placed Marvel tidbits – have made Ant-Man a very fun ride.
This is a full blown action/comedy. Not just an action movie with some funny bits. No, they just went all out and put the funny right there next to the cool action sequences and perilous adventure. And it works. And sure, there is still some great action that we’ve never seen before. There are some great pieces to set up when your hero can shrink down to the size of, well, an ant. It also lends itself to some uniquely funny ideas.
But as for the effects, they are really fun. They are very particular about making the effects really solid. There is clearly a lot of attention to detail in these fight sequences. When your characters are tiny, they have to make everything around them giant. But they don’t fake it by just making things bigger – they actually make the people smaller. How do i explain this….Well, if your character is tiny and riding a toy train, the train still looks like a toy, and the character is standing on it. Whatever they used; green screen, CG, it looks great. Oh, just go see it – you’ll see what I mean.
The cast is all spot on. Michael Douglas is great as Dr. Hank Pym. This is on of the things I love about Marvel. They seem to be getting the attention of old school great actors. Whether it’s Marvel, or the actor’s agents pushing them to these films, I don’t care. I just love to see them here. Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña (who is hilarious here), Cory Stoll, Judy Greer, Bobby Canavale, Martin Donovon, are all great. Even Hayley Atwell (!) turns up in a great scene with John Slattery. So are some others that I won’t spoil. 🙂
Ant-Man is really a lot more fun than I expected and I’m glad. This is now officially my second favorite film of the summer. Pretty close to four kittenhands. And that is really due to the lively and funny script. Without that humor, it would have been considerably less. I definitely recommend Ant-Man! Go on! Have fun!
~ Neil T. Weakley, your average movie-goer, reminding you to stay through ALL the credits!