Jul 162015
 
 

Ant-Man UK Poster

Title: Ant-Man
Director: Peyton Reed
Starring: Paul Rudd,
Michael Douglas,
Evangeline Lilly,
Corey Stoll,
Michael Peña
Genre: Superhero
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 mins
Music: Christophe Beck
Studio: Marvel Studios
Certificate: US: PG-13
UK: 12A
Release Date: US: Jul 17 2015
UK: Jul 17 2015
See If You Like: Iron Man,
Captain America: The Winter Soldier,
Bigger and better than expected.

 

Despite a somewhat lacklustre response from audiences and critics alike, Avengers: Age Of Ultron did huge business at the Box Office, and while you shouldn’t expect Marvel Studios’ latest film to make the same amount of money, it’d be a safe bet to say audiences will be much more pleasantly surprised by Ant-Man than they expect.

A relatively small superhero by any standards (pun clearly intended), Ant-Man is a rather laughable concept; putting a man inside a shrinking suit, giving him the ability to change between human size and insect size (with super-human strength, obviously) at will, and command an army of ants to help him save the world; it somehow works on film, and does so thanks to two things; comedy, and fantastic showing from leading man Paul Rudd.

Yes Paul Rudd (best known for years of comedy performances spanning the likes of TV’s Friends, Role Models, and This Is 40) has branched out and actually landed a fantastic, potentially career-making, role leading a Marvel movie, and while it’s very much the case Paul Rudd is playing Paul Rudd once again, he’s as likeable as ever and not only capable of sustaining such a large movie (and planning franchise), but the glue which holds the whole thing together, and the man who makes the movie.

Rudd gets to bring the funny on multiple occasions here (though it’s not all down to him, as laughs come from many supporting stars too; including the generic comedy sidekick played by End of Watch star Michael Peña, and even the young starlet playing Ant-Man’s daughter), and it helps there’s a fair smattering of comedy; making light of the entire affair, increasing the fun-factor, and suspending disbelief to the point you really won’t care how ridiculous it is to see two-insect-sized-soldiers battling it out on top of a child’s train track (something which is made light of through several shots showing a grown-up‘s view of the action – in the vein of The Lego Movie), or imagine a man compelling an army of ants to infiltrate a high-tech research company and disable a security system.

It also helps that Ant-Man doesn’t rest all of its hopes on super-powers/crazy action. Sure there’s a veritable picnic buffet of action set-pieces, crazy effects, costumes, and comic-book lore but Ant-Man not only crafts a deeply family-based story; with the original Ant-Man inventor (Michael Douglas, Basic Instinct) and his daughter (Evangeline Lily, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies) working through the loss of a wife/mother, and Ant-Man himself taking on his extremely dangerous mission in order to try and save the world for his own daughter (who he’s also trying to secure access to, following a stint in prison); but plays out in large part like a fresh and enjoyable heist film; as Ant-Man and his comrades plan to break into a high-tech facility and steal the next generation of shrinking suit from a nefarious corporate type (Corey Stoll, The Bourne Legacy), before he can use it to trash the world; keeping things interesting, enjoyable, engaging, and doing just enough to make it memorable, and stand-out from the increasingly crowded superhero landscape.

Marvel's Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Marvel’s Ant-Man..Scott Lang/Ant-Man (Paul Rudd)..Photo Credit: Zade Rosenthal..? Marvel 2014

Douglas excels in both the mentoring and emotional scenes (fitting right in to a Marvel movie with ease), Lily is as watchable as ever (and evokes some of the likability she brought to Real Steel as the cheering trainer; who thankfully has much more to do here than her recent roles have allowed), and Corey Stoll delivers a solid showing as the corporate bad-guy with a dad-complex (even having a character a touch above the faceless baddies employed in many a Marvel movie). Michael Peña’s comedy character is an extra touch of fun, and as likeable as Rudd is during his comedy moments, he even brings his A-game to the more serious and emotional side (largely when his on-screen daughter is involved).

Action-wise Ant-Man delivers as well, there’s lasers, fisticuffs, super-powers, and plenty of excitement, though it could prove a little much for some viewers; due to the sheer amount of movement (shaky cams aside), crazy shots, and speed of the action, anyone who suffers from any form of motion sickness would do well to view it in 2D only.

It brings the humour, and the fun but fails to make the impact Guardians of the Galaxy had, suffers in comparison to several other Marvel films, has generic characters, an absurd plot (but really, what superhero film doesn’t?), and the science isn’t wholly convincing, but despite the bugs, Ant-Man‘s a surprisingly good watch, and six-legs of fun. A solid addition to the Marvel cinematic universe, a likeable film and character, and someone audiences will love to see more of in the coming years.

Bigger and better than expected Ant-Man will surprise you, and shoot to fame when it eventually hits DVD.

Matt Wheeldon@TheMattWheeldon.

Ant-Man was viewed in The Regent Cinema, Newtown.

Verdict:
Ratings 07