So to round out Marvels triumphANT phase 2 (whilst also heralding the arrival of Phase 3 with some not so subtle easter eggs) ANT-Man, directed by Peyton Reed, has arrived in cinema’s. Here is the trailer:
This film sees Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a newly released ex-con, trying to live on the straight’n’narrow to win a place back in his daughter’s life. In the process he gets wrapped up in the life of Hank Pym (Michael DOUGLAS), a scientific genius, who founded the importANT and ANTdvanced technology company Pym Technologies. Pym created the Pym particle in the 80s, a technology that can condense matter into an ANT sized package. However, Pym realised the damage this technology could do if fell into the wrong hands and decidied to bury the tech. Now Pym’s former protege, Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), aided (ish) by his daughter Hope Van Dyne (Evangeline Lily) run the company and want to release this technology to the highest bidder and unleash deviANTce and chaos across the globe. ConsequANTly Pym recruits Scott Lang to become the ANT-man.
Sooo… This movie is a whole lot of fun and I would definitely recommend giving it a watch. The movie has action, emotion, lots of laughs and a refreshing take on the superhero movie. This film decides to turn down the sheer magnificANT scale and instead delivers an intuitive piece that provides action and spectacle but not at the expense of character developmANT. There is also a great superhero training montage at the expense of many superhero tropes! Normally I’d also make some snide or witty remark about different, isolated characters using the exact same uncommon phrase to get the protagonist to jump into action. But this time I’ll let it galavANT away.
So lets begin:
1) SUPPORTING CAST:
Completing Lang’s gang of what appears to be an incompetANT gang of miscreANTs and criminals are: Luis (Michael Pena) the muscle?, Dave (T.I.) the getaway driver and Kurt (Dave Dastmalchian) the IT guy. These characters provide a lot of the comedic entertainmANT, especially Pena who steals every single scene he’s in with a stereotypical, ludicrous and brilliANT performance as fast talking Luis.
The three mains, Rudd, Lily and Douglas, give strong performances. Rudd is convincing in his first ANT-man outing and is simultaneously charming, intelligANT, caring and funny. Lily does a brilliant job as a double agent of sorts. You truly feel her frustration and resentmANT towards her fathers refusal to let her take up the ANT-(wo)man mANTle.
2) MalignANT Baddy
My main complaint with the film would be the ANTagonist, Darren Cross, who is played well by Corey Stoll. I know this film is going to be a smaller scale offering and we shouldnt expect an omnipotANT threat like Thanos or Ultron. But this man is just a greedy sciANTist in a suit who wants more power than he has, much like Obadiah from the first Iron Man film.
Yes there are moments, albeit not long ones, where you feel our heroes are in significANT danger or peril. Or you feel that Cross could succeed in unleashing terror upon the world. BUT a smart man, in a suit does not a serious, scary villain make. I dont really know how this could have been avoided as the story felt like the perfect way to introduce ANT-man to the cinematic universe but the bad guy just didn’t seem quite enough to me.
3) Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) tie-ins
This film was about as stand alone as things can get in the currANT stage of the MCU, which is building towards Avengers:Infinity War, but still had plenty of little Easter eggs and tie-ins for those astute members of the audience. They didn’t require in depth comic book knowledge and didn’t interrupt the flow of the film, they were fitting and fun. Even my parents got them (to a certain extANT anyway)! There are even some mentions of other heroes that we may be meeting soon, a certain someone who crawls up walls!
SPOILER:……The Avengers tie-in scene is a great cameo but also serves a serious plot point. The cameo is also enough to impress without being over the top self-aggrandizing marketing.
The Mid-credits scene has a huge amount of potential, especially given Evangeline Lily’s great performance in this movie. I wont say anything else but stay seated.
The end credits clip doesn’t have much importANTce to this film but does have fairly significANT implications for next years Captain America: Civil War.
4) COMEDI-ANTS getting ripped
Okay, here I am not talking about people like RDJ, Hemsworth or Evans. Or even Evangeline Lily (who is by the way in incredible physical condition for this film – if I learnt anything it is not to piss her off. She has a look of disgust that could metaphorically kill and martial art skills that literally kill). They have always been in good shape, they have been leading actors for a while so being in strong condition is important. In an ideal world aesthetics wouldn’t matter but they do. Plus these are Superhero movies they are meant to look fANTastic.
I am talking about two men in particular (and almost certainly more to follow!) although I’m sure there are other examples. Here are there before and after shots:
Chris ”Star Lord” Pratt: Guardians Of The Galaxy
Paul ”ANT-man” Rudd
These two are the perfect examples of funny,charismatic and talANTed actors who were right for the part they just weren’t in superhero shape yet. These transformations are impressive and serve to be both inspirational and also an example of the problems caused by the film industries standards of attractiveness and beauty. Then again I suppose if you want to play superhero you have got to look the part.
YOU SHOULD SEE THIS FILM. EVEN IF YOU DONT LIKE SUPERHERO MOVIES THIS HAS A LOT TO OFFER!
VERDICT: I ENJOYED IT ENOUGH TO FIT 38 ANTS INTO THIS POST, with varying levels of relevANTs and accuracy. BOOM 40
PS/ YOU SHOULD SEE IT FOR MICHAEL PENA ALONE
PPS/ I certainly don’t feel WASPish about this review. (If you watch the film/read the comics you’ll know what I mean!)
PPPS/ Sorry for all the ANTS! There must have been some in my pANTS. 42 BOOM!