Friday, July 17, 2015
My first thoughts when I heard Marvel was making a movie about Ant-Man went something like this, "Ant-Man?!?!? There aren't any better comic book characters left untapped for the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) than Ant-Man?!?! We are in a world of hurt for summers to come!" But now, having seen it, I am pleased to report I was very pleasantly surprised. This is one of the better Marvel comic films I've seen.
But let me clarify. I didn't love Ant-Man because of Ant-Man. In fact, the story and the character himself isn't anything all that special. Furthermore, this entry in the MCU doesn't have the gravitas of a Captain America: Winter Soldier or The Avengers. But what this one lacks in being epic, it more than makes up for by its superb cast, dialogue, comedy, music, cinematography, and just overall enjoyability.
Regarding cast, Paul Rudd clearly must have sold his soul to the devil, because he never ages, and in fact gets better looking and more charming every picture. And Michael Douglas is a living legend, so to have him not only be in this film, but probably have more screen time than anyone including Ant-Man, with plenty of solid lines of dialogue to deliver is a pleasure. (Between having Robert Redford in Captain America: Winter Soldier and now Douglas in this, it gives me hope that blockbusters and true actors can co-exist. In fact, I'd love to see other living legends like Al Pacino, or even Jack Nicholson and Gene Hackman come out of retirement for a great role in a future Marvel film.) Of course, the great cast doesn't end there. Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, and Judy Greer are all great too.
Similar to Guardians of the Galaxy and The Avengers, this one is strong in the comedy department. In fact it's funnier than almost all of the comedies this year. Personally I liked it much better than Guardians of the Galaxy. Edgar Wright's presence is definitely felt in the clever dialogue.
Long story short, while it has its flaws (e.g. the action sequences bored me), this was a very pleasant surprise overall, that gives me faith that the MCU is evolving.
Who is this movie for? Marvel comic movie fans will be pleased. And while I wouldn't recommend it if you absolutely hate comic book movies, I think even if they aren't your thing you may very well find this one surpisingly enjoyable. Just plan on taking a few 15 minute naps during the action sequences and you'll be fine.