It’s actually kind of ridiculous just how the Marvel franchise goes from strength to strength, even when you look at it this film should probably not have been as good as it was. But who doesn’t like a challenge.
This is a film where the main super power is to shrink… just let that sink in. Next consider Ant-man is easily the least known Marvel superhero out of the bunch (bar maybe Guardians of the Galaxy) to come out in Phase 1 and 2. Director Edgar Wright then left the project due to creative differences, the replacement was a guy who had only done rom-coms. There were also doubts whether Paul Rudd could pull off the martyr superhero role as well. Things did not bode well for this project. Did any of this matter in the end? NOPE
After being released from prison Scott Lang’s (Paul Rudd) services are enlisted by Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) to steal some technology from his old company, Pym Tech, after his old protege’ Darren Cross cracked the equation Hank had attempted to bury years ago for the sake of humanity. Along with Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly) and some of his misfit friends they go about saving the world… as these type of films generally do.
The only negatives I can say about this is that there was one bit where Michael Douglas’ character was contradictory in something he did and that by superhero film standards all the cliche’s are there and it is fairly predictable. But that’s it.
The rest of the time it was a really fun well paced entertaining film. And something that Marvel, I think, was in desperate need of. This is pretty stand alone compared to other Marvel films, of course there’s lots of stuff that refer to the Marvel universe and there’s even an Avenger cameo, but this film by no means relies on the fact it’s a Marvel film to succeed. Casting was pretty perfect and everyone sold they’re contributing roles to the story really well. Surprisingly, each time Paul Rudd shrank the action was just so damn enjoyable that it didn’t matter that there was a crazy amount of montages. They got more creative and served to show Ant-Man develop as a character as well as move the plot forward. As you can expect there is a lot of physical comedy but director Peyton Reed doesn’t only rely on this and did a really good job of utilising Micheal Pena’s perfect comedic timing to rack up some laughs.
One major thing that can be attributed to this films success is how the story of Paul Rudd becoming Ant-Man/re-connecting with his daughter is counter balanced with Hank Pym’s relationship with his daughter without either taking over the film. Considering the film is about Ant-Man they dedicate a good amount of time to the back story and utter contempt that Hope has for her father through to the problems of reconciliation. It works and adds a depth to the film which only makes what you are watching more interesting.
The problem that Marvel has with its very forgettable villains persists and there are definitely elements of Edgar Wright’s script and ideas that you can see have been left in. I would like to have seen that film but alas, Mr Wright probably is just a little too out there for the higher ups at Marvel.
A stand alone slice of fun from a franchise that seems to get better and better. As entertaining in its action as it is funny, a typical story told from one of Marvel’s lesser heroes but is no less forgettable. A cast who has good chemistry adds to the enjoyment that can be had here whether adult or child.