Movie Review: ANT MAN – boilerplate Marvel plot, elevated by Paul Rudd

Ant Man

Back from watching Ant Man, the latest offering from Marvel Studios, and like most people who’ve commented on Facebook, I enjoyed it. I thought Rudd was as engaging as he usually is, and it was a nice change to see him playing something like this instead of the sitcom rut I think he was digging into. I thought the entire cast did okay too, and with that black bob, Evangeline Lilly was scrum-diddly-umptious.

The FX on this movie were pretty good too – I really liked the scenes of Ant Man when he was ant sized – found them the best of the movie. I also appreciated the fact that the movie had a heart, with the custody issues facing Lang … however, the script was pretty mediocre, and once again exposes one of Marvel Studios’s giant failings: their cookie-cutter approach to the scripts they commission. It was typically lightweight, I have to say, in pretty much everything. I found that I just didn’t really care about the story. I knew Ant Man would defeat Yellowjacket and that everything would be all right with the world at the end of it. Not that there’s any surprise there, and for that kind of throughline, I don’t expect anything else. What I DO expect is a story with enough twists and turns and highs and lows that it makes me care how the journey from A to B happens. Think of it like this: you have a couple of days to get from New York to LA. You could do it all by highway and see the country, or fly from one to the other. Ant Man’s script is that nondescript, do-the-business-and-nothing-more journey from New York to LA. It’s bland, and it’s routine, and we’ve seen it all before.

I liked it, but with a better script I could have loved it. I know most people who watch movies don’t think much of the script specifically, but most people know when something is lacking, even if they couldn’t tell you what. In Ant Man, there was a good opportunity to do something different with the story content, but they took the easy option.

I WAS completely wowed by the digital de-ageing of Michael Douglas in the prologue, though. Absolutely astounding job there. I was looking for the signs of CGI, but I didn’t see much at all, and I very impressed.

Overall, a decent superhero movie that probably won’t be remembered for anything in particular in a few years.


© Andrew Hope 2015

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