This movie hit the theaters last Friday and I just got round to seeing it today. Marvel has a pretty good grasp on the super-hero movie genre and tends to produce good films every time. Ant-Man is no exception. Although this film fails to reach the epic heights of some of Marvel’s other exploits such as, The Avengers, Ironman and Guardians of the Galaxy, it does a more than adequate job of entertaining and telling a story of a much lesser known comic book hero. Our “hero” is actually an ex-con that is famous for having “gotten even” with his former employer for stealing, with a white collar modern day Robin Hood caper. Luis is one of his “criminal” buddies and adds a comic relief element to the film that is refreshing and genuinely funny.
Marvel movies utilize techniques and tactics designed to break up the action and deliver both drama and humor mixed among the explosions and CGI wonders that make this genre so popular. In the case of Ant-Man, director Peyton Reed delivers an interesting but not entirely novel method of Luis explaining to Scott (AKA Ant-Man) where he got a “tip” for heist. Mr. Reed calls them “Tip Montages”. The camera flashes back through the chain of events of “he said, then told so and so…” leading to the information with Luis narrating what they said. Michael Peña is a scene stealer with his funny dialog and excellent delivery as Luis who gets off on many tangents before finally arriving at the “point” of topic.
Where Ant-Man falls down is on the villain side of the story. Our bad guy is just not selling the good sauce in this film. Corey Stoll does a decent job overall but is not really fully engrossed in the evil villain role. This may be as much about screenwriting as acting, but I just wasn’t really convinced he was any real threat. Don’t get me wrong, not every bad-guy has to be a complete megolomaniac with a God complex a la Thanos, but this villain was just not scary… not until the very end and even then, not really.
Marvel continues to show the world that they can weave many tales into a story and bring everything together. You will see Avengers cameos that make sense, you will see the Ant-Man story arc merge into the general Marvel universe, Bravo for keeping all those loose ends neatly tied together. You hear that DC? Tie that shit together!
Our leading lady, Hope van Dyne is played by Canadian actress, Evangeline Lilly and she is awesome. She has a certain on-screen something that I can’t quite put my finger on; but I like it. I like it allot. My friend Frank didn’t like her haircut, but it worked for me. It fit her somehow. Throughout the film I am never really sure what she is up to. What is her angle any way? Not until the end do you really know and even then at the very end she makes a face that is a bit disconcerting. She wields a look that seems to reveal a slight diabolic edge, but I could be imagining it. At any rate, Marvel can take many roads with this character.
Paul Rudd is solid in the lead role as Scott Lang AKA Ant-Man. Paul is a guy that is often portraying a supporting character. In this film however, he is “the guy” and he delivers the goods intact. I won’t say he hit a home run, but it was a middle inning RBI single at least. I feel Rudd was very well cast in this role.
Below is my obligatory and completely subjective list of super hero films ranked. With 70 films on this list I had to go to a two column version. You’ll find Ant-Man in a comfortable spot just inside the top 25.