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[Review] – ‘Ant-Man’

 
 
Overview
 

Release Date: 17 July 2015 [USA]
 
Director: Peyton Reed
 
Writer: Edgar Wright - Joe Cornish [Story] - Stan Lee - Larry Lieber - Jack Kirby [ComicBook] - Edgar Wright - Joe Cornish - Adam McKay - Paul Rudd [Screenplay]
 
Cast: Paul Rudd - Michael Douglas - Corey Stoll - Evangeline Lilly - Bobby Cannavale
 
Direction
 
 
 
 
 


 
Writing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Performance
 
 
 
 
 


 
Sound & Music
 
 
 
 
 


 
Cinematography
 
 
 
 
 


 
Editing
 
 
 
 
 


 
Visual Effects
 
 
 
 
 


 
Total Score
 
 
 
 
 
4/5


User Rating
3 total ratings

 


0
Posted July 23, 2015 by

 
Full Article
 
 

Review:

Ant-Man, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s twelfth feature film, opens with Scott Lang getting out of prison and trying to go straight. It ain’t easy. Being an ex-con keeps him out of work and he’s denied from visiting his daughter until he starts paying child support. Wanting to solve his problems quickly rather than properly, he returns to crime and burgles the house of one Hank Pym.

Inside Pym’s safe, all Lang finds is a strange looking suit and helmet. Things only get stranger when he puts it on and Lang soon finds himself a very small but integral part of a much bigger scheme.

To start with, Ant-Man is a small movie when placed against Marvel heavyweight Age of Ultron. This turns out a blessing, meaning the movie is intimate. There are less characters so they can receive more investment. The stakes are nothing like the extinction events that are normally threatened. Ant-Man plays for most of the time as a heist movie. There are training montages but they’re not in some state-of-the-art facility. Lang learns the tricks of the Ant-Man suit at Pym’s cosy San-Francisco home. It’s a welcome pause for breath from a franchise that easily makes your head spin.

Paul Rudd turns out an inspired choice for Scott Lang, a lovable crook with a goofy sense of humour. Like Spiderman’s “Great power…great responsibility” line, Lang is told by his ex-wife, “Be the hero your daughter already thinks you are.” It ain’t corny at all and imbues Lang with a wonderfully human element. The Avengers want to save the world. Ant-Man just wants visitation rights.

The creator of the Ant-Man suit, Hank Pym, is played by Michael Douglas and, for a guy aged 70, embraces Marvel’s absurdity well. He’s an elderly nerd who’s mind is prone to wandering but Douglas’ reminds you that younger Pym was one hell of a superhero too. Having spent so long with the Ant-Man suit, he treats it with ominous caution. Also, he’s not afraid to answer threats with fists.

Evangeline Lily as Pym’s daughter Hope is no damsel in distress. She helps run Pym’s company by day and for hobbies she practices martial arts and spies for her father. Despite her allegiance to him, the relationship between Hope and Hank is frustrated. Hope is a woman of determination and action with very little patience.

Corey Stoll is sadly a let-down as Darren Cross aka Yellowjacket. Cross has no character arc and is a complete psychopath from the very beginning (hanging out with Frank Underwood can’t be good for you). He only becomes truly menacing when he finally dons his titular jacket.

The visual effects are consistently spectacular (if a little dizzying at times). There’s a childish, nostalgic feel in revisiting this shrinking sub-genre of sci-fi. A bathtub has never looked more daunting. One late shrinking scene is particularly mind-blowing and a little eerie. Keep an eye out for some Space Odyssey-esque visuals.

The score by Christophe Beck is a thrilling and mischievous throwback to spy and heist movies of the yesteryears.

Edgar Wright’s influence is certainly visible in some of the movie’s editing. Thomas the Tank Engine bears down on a shrunken Yellowjacket and the outcome is anti-climactic but hilarious. One scene sticks out like a sore thumb though.

Midway through planning the heist, Ant-Man must steal some tech from the Avengers HQ and in doing so runs into one of them (who it is and the fact that no one bigger is present makes the scene even more weightless). The entire scene takes place on the lawn and a hostile encounter is brief and dull. Despite the scene’s necessity within the Marvel Universe, it feels terribly out of place.

Like the superhero himself, Ant-Man’s biggest strength is its smaller size. It’s a welcome change when a Marvel movie doesn’t end in some massive aerial battle (not that Ant-Man’s climax isn’t awesome, because it is). One can only wonder how Ant-Man could have turned out with Wright behind the wheel but regardless Peyton Reed has directed a charming, action-packed and wicked looking movie. Roll on, Phase 3!

 

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Michael Keyes
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@mkjk1990
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