Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Michael Pena
Director: Peyton Reed.
Plot: Cat-burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) comes into possession of a suit with an astonishing ability to shrink a man to the size of an ant. Mentored by the suit’s creator, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Lang must use the suit to pull of a heist to save the world and redeem himself.
It might be tempting to give Marvel’s latest movie a miss, writing it off as Marvel scraping the bottom of its barrel of superheros and filling in time before Captain America: Civil War. However, to do so would mean missing out on one of Marvel’s most enjoyable films to date.
Fun, funny and above all supremely watchable, Ant-Man is a refreshing change of pace following the bloated, over the top CGI-fest that was Avengers: Age of Ultron. Everything in Ant-Man is (appropriately) smaller in scale. Scott Lang isn’t a billionaire or mythic god, he’s an ex-convict with an ex-wife and kid. He isn’t flying around with the Avengers stopping an entire city from falling from the sky, he’s trying to prevent a disaster that very few will ever know about. The conflict in Ant-Man is localised and personal, yet somehow it was more exciting the entire climax of Age of Ultron.
The casting in Ant-Man is spot on. Paul Rudd is perfect as the affable rogue Scott Lang. Michael Douglas is fantastic as the hurt and bitter mentor Hank Pym. Likewise, Evangeline Lilly has never been better as Pym’s estranged daughter. Add in the hilarious Michael Pena and the intense Corey Stoll as the villain and Ant-Man’s collective charisma is through the roof.
Many thought Ant-Man was doomed following original director, Edgar Wright’s public departure from the film. However replacement director Peyton Reed, seems to pick up where Wright left off with ease. Wright is still credited as a screenwriter and it is clear that his influence is retained in the film, in particular, Wright’s signature ‘quickness’. Ant-Man is very fast moving with a relatively brief running time. Because of this the action and comedy jumps from scene to scene and boredom is never given the opportunity to set in.
Comedy is a big part of this film, more-so than the previous Marvel catalogue and it is safe to say that Ant-Man is the funniest of the Marvel films yet. Such was to be expected with funny-man Paul Rudd as the lead, but in fact much of the humor stems from Michael Pena as Lang’s ‘bad-influence’ associate Luis.
While Ant-Man may not be ‘essential viewing’ for fans of the Marvel cinematic universe, if, like me you have became exhausted and bored of the Marvel slate, Ant-Man may be exactly what you need to re-energize you. At the very least it’s a ball of fun at the cinema.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Pick up the blu-ray here.