Movies: Ant-Man Review (or “A Welcome Change In Scale”)

When I told my brother that Marvel were making an Ant-Man film a couple of years ago, he thought I was taking the piss.

Why Ant-Man? He’s not even a B-Level Superhero is he? And the name is hardly one that will draw in the crowds?

Well perhaps that’s true, as it was reported that it had the weakest opening weekend takings of any Marvel movie since 2008. That’s not to say it hasn’t done well of course, but just that it’s lagged behind other, more famous Marvel brands.

None of that is of any consequence to the viewer though I suppose; what matters is whether or not it’s any good.

Movies – Ant-Man Review: What’s It About?

When the original Ant-Man, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) realises that one of protegés has discovered the secret to his shrinking suit technology and is planning on selling it to the highest bidder, he enlists the helpantman of ex-con burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) to take over the mantle of the miniscule Superhero to stop him.

Movies – Ant-Man Review: Who’s In It?

Apart from the aforementioned Douglas and Rudd, this also stars Evangeline Lilly (Lost) as Pym’s daughter Hope, Corey Still (House of Cards) as the villainous Darren Cross and Michael Peña as Lang’s friend and partner in crime Luis.

Movies – Ant-Man Review: How Highly Is It Rated?

Generally mixed. Imdb has it at 8.0 from just under 40,000 votes, but you can never tell how many of them are from fanboys. Most critics seem to have enjoyed it while a few felt that it fell flat.

Movies – Ant-Man Review: My Thoughts

Personally I liked it because it was a change of pace from most of Marvel Studios’ offerings.

Yes of course, despite the twist that this is about the original Ant-Man training the new one, Ant-Man is essentially yet another superhero origin movie, so it is by-and-large more of the same sort of plot about an ordinary person getting the grips with his new powers etc, but that’s not the change of pace I mean.

What I mean is that this movie operates at – and pardon the unintentional pun here – a far smaller scale than the likes of The Avengers or Spider-Man.

At its heart, Ant-Man is a comedy about a heist and so unlike just about every other effort from Marvel, this doesn’t descend into a third act all about destruction porn and cities being razed to the ground. Instead, there’s some actual plot involved in it and the special effects – like a toy Thomas the Tank Engine being turned life-sized – are used for humour.

Humour does play a big part in it, and so casting Paul Rudd – a natural comedic actor – in the lead role is important, but for me, it’s his friends like Peña who steal the show.

The only major criticism of Ant-Man is not really a criticism at all. I just feel that as a superhero, he has limited scope and a sequel would just be more of the same.  After all, how many nemeses can a guy the size of an ant have beyond other similar sized foes?

But that’s more a criticism of the state of Hollywood, because a movie shouldn’t have to prove that it can have multiple sequels for it to work.

As a standalone movie, this works well, and is worth seeing.

Calls to Action

Remember to…

a) Like Stuart Reviews Stuff on Facebook or Twitter

b) Read about my books – focussing on reviews of Doctor Who from the very beginning – here

c) If you appreciate my sense of humour, go ‘Stuart’s Exciting Anecdote of the Day’ 

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