Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Movie Review: Ant-Man

From the makers of Raid! opened it's review of "Ant-Man" by saying that the movie is a perfectly competent superhero movie as though that was some king of insult.  If you've seen the trailers then you know something about the story but, I'm happy to say, the trailers didn't give the whole movie away like they did for "Terminator Genisys".

The trailers mostly seemed to focus on the the comedy of the movie which was good because there is are some good comedy bits in the film. Paul Rudd (who plays Scott Lang, the Ant-Man when he's in civvies) is primarily a comedian.  The plot mostly holds together. It's an origin story cast as a heist movie. If you're a fan of the Marvel movie universe you've already packed your disbelief in permanent suspension so that won't be a problem.

My wife, daughter (the Marvel Universe expert in our family) and I saw it over the weekend. The theater was pretty crowded and it sounded like everyone was having a great time. And so did we. My daughter's only real problem with the movie is that it wasn't "Avengers: Civil War". 

Speaking of the Avengers, stick through to the very end. There are two Easter eggs in the final mile-long credits. The one at the very end is from "Civil War". By the way "Ant-Man will return".

Paul Rudd was very engaging as Scott and as Ant-Man when he opens his helmet. Mike Douglas (as Hank Pym) does a good turn as the frustrated super genius. There is a great scene early in the movie which takes place in 1989 between Pym and some shadowy group composed of Tony Stark's father and Peggy Carter (just the first of many Avengers tie-ins) and another guy that Pym punches in the nose. Douglas either has the greatest makeup in the history of movie making or his 1989 face is entirely CG. I'm voting on CG. As an aside, Paul Rudd told an absolutely funny story about working with Mike Douglas on the Tonight Show, which, as this is a family blog, I can't repeat. I'm sure you can find it on YouTube.

There are some not entirely successful attempts to put some humanity into the picture. Scott has just gotten out of jail for playing Robin Hood against a powerful corporation and goes to his daughter's birthday party without clearing it with either his ex or her finance. The scenes between Scott and little Cassie are cute but I don't see how he could have had much of a relationship with her considering he's been in prison for awhile and she's like 5 years old. Scott gives Cassie a "Hideous Rabbit" which talks. Way at the end of the credits we learn that Hideous Rabbit was voiced by Tom Kerry who has a ton of credits in TV cartoons, including SpongeBob SquarePants.

The other father-daughter relationship is between Pym and his daughter Hope (Evangeline Lilly). Early hints of discord (she is working for the man who stole Pym Industries away from her father) resolve into her grudgingly helping him. We learn about some Ant-Man back-story eventually which looks like an eventual spin-off. Lilly is pretty good, and she gets a chance to smack Rudd around a bit.

Corey Stoll (who comes from the TV show Homeland, which I've never seen) plays genius company-stealing and former Pym assistant Darren Cross with enough bug-eyed intensity to convince us he's a bad guy even before we get shown he is.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" came out of nowhere and turned out to be pretty good. The same happens here.


Doel said...

Ant-man is out of the blue of Marvel superhero, but the marketing is very good. Thanks for the review.

cynicalbuddha said...

I saw an interview with Michael Douglas and they talked about the CGI to make him younger.