Marvel continue their reign of the superhero hits with the latest original film Ant Man. The film has been consistently plagued with problems since it began, the great director Edgar Wright departing the film after “creative differences”, Joss Whedon saying Wright’s script was one of the best things he has ever read, new director Peyton Reed (Bring It On and The Break Up), rewrites by Paul Rudd and then finally a confirmed release date. It is an exhaustive list that has had fans (and myself) concerned about the quality of the movie, but rest assured while this isn’t one of Marvel’s best, it does continue with the standard of superhero movies that populate their shared universe.
Original Ant Man Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) is feeling his age and when his tech is stolen by Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), Pym recruits Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) a thief, to break into Cross’s facility and steal back the suit. Joined by three unfortunately cast racial stereotypes, things don’t go to plan and Lang must don the suit to stop Cross/Yellowjacket. Now I know what you’re thinking a private corporation stealing technology to take over the world..Groundbreaking…and you are right, it definitely is the biggest weakness of the film.
The villain is non threatening, non sensical and ridiculous, the the point where if you took YellowJacket out, this movie would still work and probably be a lot more enjoyable (although without the mind blowing action scenes!) There is no exploration of major motivation for YellowJacket and Cross does bring his all to the role, but Jacket comes across as a bit silly and non-threatening.
Rudd is perfect as Lang, one minute you are laughing and the next swept into a massive action sequence with hight stakes and you can feel the tension. This is something that Marvel movies can do really well, and this is probably one of the best examples of it, I put this down to Rudd and his story arc. He has gone to prison, he struggles financially and has a struggling relationship with his daughter, in a self sabotaging cycle, he is easily the most relatable Marvel hero in the universe so far. This is a character that Rudd portrays perfectly and his interaction with Pym’s daughter Hope (Evangeline Lily) is a mirror of Lang and his daughter and is beautifully developed and has such great detail given. Michael Douglas is perfect as Pym and seems to be continuously winking to the audience through his joyous and easygoing role.
Effects wise this film delivers,the early trailers left a lot to be desired and I was concerned about the final product, however Industrial Light & Magic have again proved how they can make just about anything work and look spectacular. The action sequences in this are mesmerising, and a scene involving a water droplet and Ant Man is glorious to watch on screen (especially in 3D!)
This movie was a hard one, it has taken 10 years of production to get here, and while it is no Guardians Of The Galaxy or Iron Man 3, it does something that the previous films have struggled to, deliver a relateable character who the audience can identify with and keep everything grounded in a crazy situation. While Peyton Reed is direction, Edgar Wright still has writing credits and fans of his work will spot his influence in the movie. This may not be another billion dollar franchise, but it is solid superhero entertainment and I was surprised at the ride this movie took me on.
Ant Man is in cinemas on Thursday