When the announcement of Ant-Man was initially made I was actually looking forward to this one as the writer/director team was to be Adam Cornish and Edgar Wright! Adam wrote the fun Attack the Block and Edgar was of course behind Shaun of the Dead.
Creative differences were given and the 2 were taken off the project (although do get credit on the screenplay) brought in to take over the project are Adam McKay (Writer/Director of Anchorman) to review the script and the director was to be Peyton Reed (who I associate with more RomCom fair such as Bring it on, Down with Love, Yes Man and the truly miserable film the break up)
Now given all of this, I have to say I went into this film not expecting a lot yet Marvel is now a billion pound business in movies so I certainly didn’t expect it to be awful and this was to be the case. This is like no Marvel film you’ve seen before. Unlike the plots of other films such as Thor and Iron Man, this isn’t a big battle to save the world but more of a heist film with the battle added on at the end
This will certainly be the most fun Marvel film you will have seen and I’m sure this may go down to the addition of Adam McKay to script duties but I guess we may never know! The film owes a lot to the great central performance by Paul Rudd who burst onto our screens in 1995 with the hit Clueless and err Halloween 6 and been around ever since, normally in the good friend role throughout including from my own collection, Anchorman 1 & 2, 40 Year Old Virgin, Dinner for Schmucks and the brilliant I Love You Man
Paul plays Scott Lang, a down on his luck thief, trying to rebuild his life having just got out of prison so he can be in his daughter’s life again. Whilst in prison his now ex wife (Judy Greer) has moved on and needs to know he has changed, so stops him from seeing his daughter until he has a home and a job. Scott tries his hardest, eventually by not disclosing his prison time gets a job in an Ice Cream shop. Of course they find out about his past and fire him sending him back to square one. A tip from his friend Luis (a great performance by Michael Pena) sees a ‘job’ put his way (read burglary) that should get him all the riches he needs to start again or least buy him some time
The burglary is completed with ease by Scott breaking the seemingly impossible safe only to find a ‘biker suit and helmet’. To make maters worse, he gets caught on his getaway by his wife’s new partner (Bobby Cannavale) and ends up in a prison cell
However, his lawyer (who is actually Dr. Hank Pym played by Michael Douglas) turns out to be the owner of the home broken into and offers Scott the chance to wear the ‘biker suit’ to get out of prison. The suit is of course the Ant-Man suit
Upon putting the suit on, Scott reduces to the size of an Ant, making for an easy escape. Scott meets up with Hank and is offered the chance to wear the suit to do good.
His first challenge would be to use his burglary skills and stop Hank’s rival Darren Cross (played by Corey Stoll) who has developed the ‘Yellow Jacket’, the same technology as the Ant suit which he wants to use for war and that would of course be bad
Scott, trained through Hank’s daughter Hope (played by Evangeline Lilly) becomes the standard Marvel super soldier and with a fantastic actual Ant army, puts plans into place to get the Yellow Jacket suit out of evil hands.
Ending with the inevitable showdown of Ant-Man and Yellow Jacket, with a great battle on Thomas the Tank Engine sequence, will Scott save the day or are we all doomed, I think you can guess =)
Having a Chihuahua sidekick, I know better than most that size isn’t everything and if you are thinking an ant sized hero is not worth your time you could miss out by avoiding this as it is a fun action-comedy heist film
Paul Rudd holds the film well aided by a great supporting cast, some great CGI as well, scenes when Scott is ant sized are done well, a chase from drowning in the bath for example. The CGI Ant army is fun, you’ll especially like Antony (previously known as Ant 248) and an ant who gets super sized to large dog size
Of course the film is not without issues, a scene with Avenger ‘Falcon’ feels crammed in to make the film fit in the ever expanding Marvel universe. With a run time of 117 minutes, this is actually one of the shortest Marvel films but you still feel it could have been shorter
The film ends with a message that Ant-Man will return, with this film being a pleasant surprise I would certainly not object to spending some more time wit this character
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