Thursday, July 16, 2015
Ant Man- Big Block Busters Come In Small Packages
Once again Marvel attempts to take one of their heroes that isn't a household name and strike gold. Fan boys will recognize that Ant-Man is one of the corp members of The Avengers. The Marvel Cinematic Universe plays out a little differently. This time he gets a solo outing and attempts to carry his own film. Gaurdians of the Galaxy wasn't a household name either and it worked out pretty well. Can Marvel strike gold with their small hero?
Paul Rudd plays a different version of the title character with Michael Douglas as a retired version of the more familiar comic book version. Forced out of his own company by former protégé Darren Cross, Dr. Hank Pym recruits the talents of Scott Lang a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.
Ant- Man is a lot of things. It's a heist movie, it's a comedy at times, it's adventurous, and still finds places to be very faithful to it's source material. Pym in the comic version, creates Ultron. The film universe takes a different spin. He's a retired scientist/super agent. Marvel makes this work pretty well. His adventures are told in flashback and are built into the world of Tony Stark and Steve Rogers. Pym is faithfully painted as one of the greatest minds in the Marvel Universe. They handle Wasp well even though we never really meet her. Yellow Jacket is cool, but we don't see enough of him in action. The little we do see works. The best part of Ant Man is Ant Man. Paul Rudd might be an unlikely hero, but he really pulls it off. In the same way RDJ personifies Tony Stark, Rudd does Lang.
The whole cast is pretty good. Douglas still has the swagger to play Pym. He brings enough arrogance to the role and seems to have fun. Corey Stoll from House Of Cards is a lot of fun. He's direct, evil, and has little likability. Evangeline Lily doesn't do much, but stick around for the post credit scene. She will have more to do sooner than later. Lang's heist crew also provide some refreshing comic relief.
It's a little Honey I Shrunk The Kids and that isn't a bad thing. The cameos are on point. Agent Carter, The Falcon, comic book references, and a few iconic places. Ant Man does a great job of setting it's place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It never takes itself too seriously and that might be one of it's flaws. It's pretty good. I kind of compare it to Thor: The Dark World or Iron Man 3. Certainly watchable, but not one you will watch over and over. I am a little tougher because I compare them all to Winter Soldier. Ant Man is good for taking a few small steps to a even more expanded universe.