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Review - Ant-Man

By midlandsmovies, Nov 11 2015 06:30PM

Ant-Man (2015) Dir. Peyton Reed

Marvel delve into their slightly lesser well-known characters with this new film about the diminutive superhero who is “at one” with the tiny insects. Playing Scott Lang is loveable rogue Paul Rudd, a burglar trying to go straight in order to see his daughter but who keeps getting drawn into hare-brained schemes by his criminal friends.

With the promise of a big score, he steals a suit from inventor Hank Pym (an always watchable Michael Douglas) but gets more than he bargained for when he realises what the costume can do. It is Pym however who has orchestrated the heist as he’s looking for a student to train and prevent similar technology falling into the wrong hands.

The film is solid Marvel and is helped by a return to a smaller scale, both with its soap opera drama as well as its tiny set pieces amongst model buildings, train sets and keyholes. These provide a welcome distraction from the hordes of robots/aliens seen in Avengers, Ultron & Guardians and keep the story efficient with a simple tale of an ordinary man getting extraordinary powers and learning to use these to protect those he loves.

Rudd is as inoffensive as always and provides heart to his reluctant hero with good chemistry with Evangeline Lilly as Pym’s daughter Hope van Dyne which also sets up a future love interest. This time the obligatory expanded universe scene involves Falcon and places Lang firmly on the Avengers radar. Some impressive CGI on Douglas’s face to de-age the old crow was well done in a flashback scene (a huge improvement over young Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy) but the dialogue – which wanted to be edgy and quirky – came across as a bit too “try-hard”.

We’ll always wonder what would have been if Edgar Wright (who gets a story credit) was at the helm (probably better at a guess) but given the large scale epics of the last few superhero blockbusters, this miniature movie may have been a minor Marvel off-shoot but turns out to be a pleasant and distinct surprise which counteracts the overblown antics of Whedon’s Age of Ultron released earlier this year.

Rudd's end fight with Yellowjacket – a similar miniaturised experimental suit used by Pym Technology director Darren Cross – is particularly effective with special effects, comedy and ingenious sequences all sitting nicely with each other.

Ant-man therefore ends up as a mighty accomplishment with a secondary character brought to life with wit and lashings of humour

7.5/10 Midlands Movies Mike

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