And so it begins. The start of the next five years, with the superhero genre dominating the cinemas around the globe with stories of mighty men, Norse Deities and probably a few aliens. But while you’ll have to wait a while for those films to come out, we have the Pint Sized Avenger, Ant Man to tide us over.
Ant Man stars Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly and Corey Stoll and is directed by Peyton Reed. The film follows Scott Lang (Rudd) as he inherits the Ant Man name and suit from Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) so that they can pull of a daring heist that may just save the world.
Ant Man had a rough start when it was first announced. Marvel Studios got a giant backlash when they revealed that acclaimed director Edgar Wright (well known for the man behind the camera of The Blood and Cornetto Trilogy) who was tipped for the director chair was not going to be directing Ant Man. However, Wright still serves as a writer on the film, and the script is one of the great points about Ant Man. While some jokes fall flat, the film does have a few good lines, with Michael Pena’s long, drawn out stories about people who help him find work. These stories, where Pena voices all the characters talking are the funniest parts of the film
The story is the same clichéd one that seemed to plague San Andreas earlier this year. As I said then, absent dad, divorced mother, a child in need, evil step dad, contrived romance, it’s copied verbatim in Ant Man. The main villain’s entrance to the film is also a cliché, easily pointing him out as the main bad guy instead of playing with the audience like Big Hero 6 did, keeping us guessing as to whether he is the bad guy or not. Despite these stereotypical plot points; the acting is still well done, with special mention going to Michael Douglas and Michael Pena, the two being the funniest characters in the film by far.
As with the other Marvel films, several hints and universe crossovers are mentioned and brought into the film, giving us one of the best scenes in the film, where Ant Man faces off against an Avenger for a piece of hardware needed for his mission. It’s the best scene of the film, and managed to rouse me from a small nap that was threatening to take me over. There are also two end credit sequences to stick around for at the end, introducing new characters and also setting up the new films, so they are well worth watching. Again, as I said in my Avengers review, you will need to think back and refer to earlier films to remember who these side characters are. I was almost lost at who one character was until I scoured my memory while writing this review. And as usual there is the required Stan Lee cameo hiding away within the last few seconds of the film. I almost thought they were going to miss it out but they got it in just before the credits rolled.
Ant Man clocks in at just under two hours, and this was one of the main problems for me. As I said previously, I was almost sent into a small nap by the lull in on screen interest. The film potters around with needless subplots and revelations that can be seen a mile off, all culminating in a film that look like it’s going to end, before going on for another quarter of an hour. The film sadly focuses more on these minor distractions rather than the dialogue between Rudd and his entourage of friends, which is the main highlight of the film.
In conclusion, Ant Man is just another superhero film. If you enjoyed the other Marvel creations over the past few years you’ll find more to love here, but it’s nothing to convert a non-watcher to the side of the superheroes.
Score: 6/10 One of the weaker films in the Marvel deck.