“Ant-Man” poster courtesy Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Rated: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence
Runtime: 1 hour, 57 minutes
Genre: Action, Sci-Fi
My spoiler-free review:
A man in a leather suit with an insect-like helmet who can shrink down to miniature size, and ohh by the way – communicate with ants. It may have been “astonishing” in 1962, but this superhero concept that could have come across as corny in 2015 is surprisingly cool thanks to director Peyton Reed, lead actor Paul Rudd, and a writing team that includes Adam McKay and Rudd himself. Eventhough it doesn’t fit in the chronology of the comics that it’s based on, the movie does well to fit into the larger MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe), without being too heavy handed about it.
With its great laughs, intriguing family focused story, great character development, exciting adventure, and dazzling effects, “Ant-Man” is primed to be a surprise hit for both audiences and the studio it came from!! I give it a 9.0 out of 10… Marvel gets the adventure comedy heist right delivering laughs, action, and family sentiment. I haven’t had this much fun at an action movie since “The Avengers” (2012).
Worth the 3D – while there’s nothing really jumping out of the screen at you, its okay because the immersive aspect of the 3D really works for this movie, giving you depth of field when shrinking down to ant size
Not so serious – In a cinematic world with a patriotic super soldier, a hammer wielding Norse God, a scientist with Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde tendencies, and a billionaire with a high tech suit of armor… it may be hard to take the “Ant-Man” suit seriously. So it makes perfect sense to have a comedic actor cast as the lead of “Ant-Man”… and the writing team to include two well know names behind hit comedy movies (McKay and Rudd). This is the funniest superhero movie ever with genuine LOL moments – its not corny, dry, raunchy, or over-the-top humor… it has jokes for all ages and Ant-Man isn’t a snarky know-it-all like Tony Stark. Scott Lang (Rudd) is a relatable family man, with funny comedy throughout – these are true laughs. The movie “Ant-Man” doesn’t take itself too seriously- while the trailers constantly poke fun of the name of the suit – the movie also recognizes the oddity of the superpower and the science of it.
Founding member no more – in the Marvel comics, Dr. Hank Pym (original Ant-Man) was one of the first Avengers, but because of the way the movies were released, and the risk of introducing this character earlier in the MCU (see above)… the backstory had to change, so we start with a flashback more than 25 years to 1989. I am a big fan of special effects, when done well, so I only mention them when they are great, or really bad. The flashback scene is our first indication that the folks at ILM were taking this movie very seriously… with their ability to make Dr. Pym look like 1980s era Michael Douglas… and that amazing work continued throughout especially with the effects of shrinking and growing plus the interactions with ants and miniature Ant-Man.
Marvel blender mixes up another successful entry: pairing a legendary actor in Michael Douglas with the likable Rudd, positioned opposite the younger but overly aggressive businessman and the doctor’s daughter, with a very good script full of adventure, character development and humor, plus great effects and a feeling of fun… this movie is hard not to like! Maybe it’s from what I’ve been reading since Iron Man (2008) hit the big screen or I’ve seen in animated TV series, but this movie feels familiar, eventhough these characters are not well known outside the comic book world.
Makes entomology cool – between Dr. Pym’s crash course in the different types of ants and how they can help Ant-Man, the winged ant dubbed “Antony” by Scott, and the little personality/sounds given to them – the movie makes ants fun and exciting for all ages.
Final battle is funny, in a good way there’s a scene involving the two insect-themed superbeings and a bug zapper, there’s two big laughs involving Thomas the Train, and while the battle in the bedroom looks like a play set of action figures come to life, its also quite funny for a fight scene.
Part of the MCU – “Ant-Man” ties in well with Avengers and other MCU movies (multiple references to Avengers on and off screen, several to Iron Man , one to Spider-man), sets up Scott joining with Avengers in the future and possibly positions him opposite of Iron Man in the next movie “Captain America: Civil War” (May 2016).
BONUS CONTENT IN CREDITS … there are 2 scenes in the credits that both look ahead and they are more than just Stark and Dr. Banner talking or a villain’s turn to the camera… there is some real meat to these impact of these “extra” scenes (because they are carefully planned by Marvel Studios).
The first is the MID CREDITS scene that looks ahead at Hope’s future in the MCU (anything more would be spoiler – happy to discuss in comments below, or on Twitter (@aaronlafferty).
Second is the END CREDITS scene featuring three characters from previous Marvel movies talking about what they are going to do given their situation and who might help them. (no names there because of spoiler impact… but if you’re a big picture MCU fan… then you must see this scene that is important to Phase 3 of the Marvel movies… happy to discuss in comments below, or on Twitter (@aaronlafferty).
MORE INFO (possible spoilers):