MOVIE THEATER REVIEW: “Ant-Man” stars Paul Rudd (Anchorman, Role Models), Michael Douglas (The War of the Roses, Falling Down), Evangeline Lilly (Lost [TV series], The Hurt Locker), Corey Stoll (Non-Stop, The Bourne Legacy), Michael Peña (Fury, American Hustle), Bobby Cannavale (Chef, Win Win), Anthony Mackie (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Black or White), Judy Greer (Jurassic World, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Abby Ryder Fortson (Playing It Cool, Togetherness [TV series]), David Dastmalchian (The Dark Knight, Prisoners), T.I. (The Hangover, Furious 7), and Martin Donovan (Insomnia, The Sentinel). It is directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man, The Break-Up). Scott Lang (Rudd) is a burglar with a heart as he does it for a somewhat good cause, however he can’t stay out of trouble. It has ruined his life, especially with his family and daughter who he tries to be a part of. Those days of being a criminal are over though when he steals a suit from the famous Dr. Hank Pym (Douglas). The suit can shrink down to the size of an ant but has the strength that outweighs an average human. After finding out that it was a set up by Pym himself, he gets sprung into a redemption mission when he has to stop a man named Darren Cross (Stoll) from using the same mechanics the suit has to build an army of suits, which can be dangerous if in the wrong hands.
I was thinking that I wasn’t going to get a chance to see this one, but now I have. “Ant-Man” is one of Marvel’s gambling chips, being a character that anyone outside of the comic-loving norm wouldn’t know, therefore it is a risky venture. “Guardians of the Galaxy” was another hard bargain, but it was paid off and became a huge success. The question is, can a man who shrinks down to the size of an ant hold up what intergalactic bounty hunters have? Let me begin by saying that this film doesn’t want to be taken seriously be any means. There are a few sentimental moments, but they quickly get thrown back to comedy. That’s the style of the movie and quite frankly, I don’t think comic book enthusiasts will like it all too much. But, listen here: this is a fun film. Don’t take it to be gripping to the comics because although it has some aspects of Ant-Man’s real history, it is all new and changed. If you accept this as a comic lover, than you will have an enjoyable experience. I wanted to address this matter because I am not an avid comic book reader, but I respect comics as well as those who read them, and someday I will like to make a comic book film that follows the comics. Besides that matter, whatever shape or form this film comes in, you can tell the writers had heart with it. The director himself is very passionate about the characters, as said in an interview, and he wishes to tell more stories with them. The story is fast-paced and is filled with humor where eighty-five percent of it made me laugh. Mainly Michael Peña’s character, Luis. He takes up the majority of the humor and is a rather different character than what I am used to. When it comes to the other characters, there is a handful that you will like. I for one thought Michael Douglas’s Hank Pym is the best character out of all of them. You can tell with his performance that he means business and has a lot of history with him. On a side-note, I really hope that they make a prequel of some sort having Hank Pym in the suit instead of Scott Lang, the way it should be. I’m not saying Scott Lang is a bad character, he’s just not as good as Hank. Which brings me to Scott Lang in general. His humor is a hit or miss, but what is best about him is the relationship he has with his daughter. It feels genuine and it probably is the only thing genuine about him. I take a liking to him, but he isn’t as awesome of a guy as Captain America or Iron Man. He is more like a Falcon, who by the way makes an awesome cameo in this film. But like I said, I like him, so that’s enough to make this enjoyable. Evangeline Lilly is in this movie as well, and I liked her character a lot. I really enjoyed her connection to Hank and their feuds were great. With all these good, good guys, it brings me to the villain. I agree with quite a bit of people who say that Marvel is weak in the villain department, but I don’t think I’ve come across any awful incarnations, just ones that can’t be intimidating. And that is just what Darren Cross is in this movie. The film rarely focuses on him and because of that, you can’t connect to him well. Whenever he actually gets to be evil, it doesn’t come off strong either. It feels more like a little boy who can’t get what he wants. He is frustrated almost all the time and tries to get Hank’s acceptance for most of the movie. I want a villain that you hate or one that you hate so much you love, like Zod from “Man of Steel”. Gosh, what a fantastic villain! But this guy is only feasible for the action scenes. He’s not awful, but he isn’t that good either and that is my first con with this film. My second issue is how fast-paced this movie is. It works at times with the style, but sometimes I just want them to slow down and give me a good dialogue scene which has depth. Whenever they do this, they interrupt it with a joke or brush it off to go back to a montage. It just really goes to show how much they don’t want to be taken seriously, which is my third con. I take Ant-Man seriously, yes I am one of those people, but then again I shouldn’t apologize because you should actually pick up an Ant-Man comic. I assure you that you will find him just as cool. Thankfully, my worst fear wasn’t included in this movie: the hero’s depreciation of the persona. In the trailer they made it seem like Scott Lang thought Ant-Man was a joke, but apparently they took those scenes out of the film, and it helped it a lot. If the hero doesn’t take himself seriously, I don’t know what the heck I will do. Finally the last con I have is that they tried to include Edgar Wright’s (the original writer who left because of creative control differences in the beginning of production) written portion for the beginning to set it up, but in a way it conflicted with their own writing, making it jumbled. Once you get past the beginning, it takes off. Outside of those cons, my last pro for this movie is the special effects and the actions scenes that come with them. They are truly amazing. Every time Ant-Man shrunk or fought it hyped me up. Comic book action is awesome and it is evident in this film. One special effect however that wasn’t an action scene that I commend is the beginning, set in 1989 with a young Michael Douglas. Golly day it was terrific! Truly revolutionary what they can do. It just makes me want a Hank Pym movie even more! Overall, this is a fun film that has heart behind it. It suffers from not taking itself seriously almost all the time, but it blends in with the style enough to make it enjoyable. I’d say watch it in the theaters for the action scenes, especially in 3D, but otherwise this isn’t as much of a big release as “Avengers”. Either way, I would recommend you to check it out for it is a good popcorn movie. FINAL SCORE: 86%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: