Title – Ant-Man (2015)
Director – Peyton Reed (Yes Man)
Cast – Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Michael Pena, T.I, Wood Harris, Anthony Mackie
Plot – Recently released from prison, Scott Lang (Rudd) is recruited by esteemed scientist Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas) for a life or death mission to infiltrate a facility run by Darren Cross (Stoll). Lang quickly discovers that this mission will be anything but normal when his introduced to a special suite that makes him an Ant-Man, a small scale weapon of unimaginable potential.
“One question… Is it too late to change the name?”
Review by Eddie on 18/04/2016
Forgoing the more serious nature that has started to feature more prominently in each passing new adventure, Marvel’s incarnation of Ant-Man wisely forgoes trying to bring realism to its shrinking man tale to create what is easily one of their most fun tales yet, but the very nature of Ant-Man’s story and very idea means that Peyton Reed’s (who does a commendable job considering his late arrival to the role) film can only soar so far.
It will always be one of the great modern day movie mysteries when film fans ponder just what could’ve been had Ant-Man’s original director Edgar Wright ended up filming his vision for Marvel’s longstanding character. Leaving the project mere weeks before filming began its also quite clear that Reed kept quite a few “Edgar Wright moments” as the beloved British directors trademark oddball humour and scenarios seem flushed throughout this superhero caper. It’s this humour and the films ability to poke fun at its unbelievable scenarios, not to mention some inventive and self-aware set pieces (a fight on a trainset a highlight) that saves Ant-Man from its less than stellar story, whilst the casting of Paul Rudd deserves full credits also.
A long term bit player in a raft of beloved modern day comedies and more recently a likeable presence in a slew of Rom-Coms, Paul Rudd’s casting as criminal and wannabe world’s greatest dad turned miniature hero Scott Lang is easily one of 2015’s best placed choices of casting. Rudd’s deadpan delivery and easy likeability makes us care more than we should for Lang’s tale, a tale that seems oddly paced and ever so silly – Lang’s training to a become a proficient hand to hand fighter and leader of ants is almost laughably lame in its swiftness and inception, but Rudd keeps on winning us back with what could be his career best turn. Reed handles Rudd well and his films visual bookends that often make great use of the situations but Reed loses points for wasting a great support cast in a mix of random characters.
Corey Stoll can’t do much with his cookie cutter baddie Darren Cross, Michael Douglas goes on autopilot as original Ant-Man Dr. Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly gets a bad haircut and not much to do as the feisty Hope van Dyne while Bobby Cannavale, one of the world’s most likeable actors, is completely wasted as cop Paxton and the less said about Wood “Avon Barksdale” Harris the better. Michael Pena gets some of the films best lines as Lang’s best buddy Luis and he seems like one of Wrights creations in his randomness.
Ant-Man is fun, fast and oh so highly forgettable.
It’s a film that in many ways is better than it should’ve ever been but it’s also a film that will need to work harder in its next adventure if it is to continue on as one of yet another Marvel series that seems destined to flood our cinemas over the next decade.
At the conclusion of this film one can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness at the fact we never got to see Wright’s version of this simple underdog turned hero story, a film that would’ve likely been a whole lot weirder but also a whole lot more unique.
3 strange looking pet dogs out of 5