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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Review - Ant-Man

Ant-Man is the newest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and is the 12th film overall, the film is Directed by Peyton Reed and written by Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Paul Rudd and Adam McKay, it stars Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Pena, Bobby Cannavale, Corey Stoll and Michael Douglas.

There were lots of problems with this film happening behind the scenes, Edgar Wright had been developing an Ant-Man film for years but unfortunately Wright left the project after disagreements with Disney, and Peyton Reed got hired instead, everyone was worried when Wright left, plus Ant-Man is a weird superhero anyway so people have been less than excited for the film, but happily I can say Ant-Man is great and is one of Marvel's better films.


The story focuses on Scott Lang (Rudd), a burglar who is just out of prison and is trying to get his life back in order, he has a daughter he needs to support but cannot find any jobs so goes back into a life of crime, scientist Hank Pym (Douglas) finds Lang and recruits him to be the Ant-Man because he needs to steal a weapon that could change the world, from his former men-tee Darren Cross (Stoll)

Its a pretty formulaic story that's being told in the film and feels like more of a phase 1 film, its a very low stakes film, about family, unlike the latest Avengers film when they are stopping an evil robot from destroying an entire country. The theme of family is the most important part of  this story because it is everywhere, Scott and his daughter, Scott and Hank have a father-son relationship as Hank did with Cross in the past and also Hank and his daughter Hope (Lilly) Having such a prevalent theme keeps the story very tight and focused. Its also a heist film, as Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a superhero film and a spy film, and Ant-Man's powers are perfect for a heist, the heist scenes are really interesting and smartly done, doing some things that I've never seen in a heist film before.

The action scenes are great in the film, there aren't too many of them but they are incredibly exciting and amazing to watch, the filmmakers are using something called, macro photography, which means when Ant-Man shrinks down, everything around him which is now big, is real, just filmed on a tiny camera, this makes all the shrunk down scenes look entirely realistic and new which is a rare thing when there has been so many superhero films.
Ant-Man water in bath tub
Ant-Man running around in a bath tub!
The humour is also here, of course being a Marvel movie, it may be the funniest yet, having a comedic actor like Paul Rudd as the lead and a comedic director behind the camera you expect it to be pretty funny, but its even funnier than expected, at first the jokes weren't hitting very hard but after the first 20 minutes the film is just great joke after great joke, the funniest part of the film was Michael Pena's character, Luis, he is Scott Lang's friend and a member of his heist team, the character was hilarious and its hard to explain why, he has a certain charisma to him that makes anything he says funny, they also do a very fun visual story when Luis tells stories, he will be telling a story with different characters talking, but  they all talk exactly how Luis would talk, it was something new in a film like this.
Michael Pena as Luis
The rest of the cast was great in this film also, Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man was awesome, Rudd is one of the funniest, charming actors in the business so i'm glad that he had the chance to do this role, he brings a heart to the film with the relationship between him and his daughter that hasn't been in any other Marvel film, Scott Lang is the only parent who is also a superhero so far in these movies and it was great to see him interest with her and see how much he cares for her. I've never had a favourite avenger, until now, Ant-Man is such a cool superhero, he kind shrink down to the size of an ant (duh) has the strength of an ant (they can lift up to 50x their own body weight) and can also control ants, they sound like strange powers for a hero but its very interesting how the powers are used. The suit is also my favourite superhero outfit, it looks so cool!

Evangeline Lilly played Hope van Dyne, this character takes a while to get going and for the audience to warm up to her but once you understand her motives and feelings she becomes a welcome addition to the film, and Lilly plays her very well, making her a strong female with a glimpse of a softer side.
The villain of the piece, Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll, usually in these Marvel films the villain is often forgotten about and is just an obstacle for the hero to overcome but i think that Darren Cross was more than that, he was a very developed character, he is jaded because of Hank Pym's rejection of him, he becomes self obsessed, and just wants to hurt Hank, Stoll plays the role very well, he is believable as a scientist and also an intimidating threat.
Corey Stoll as Yellowjacket
Scott's heist team in the film are made up of T.I who plays Dave, David Dastmalchian who plays Kurt and the already talked about Michael Pena's Luis, T.I and David are good in there roles, adding some great comedy in several scenes, they are also valuable members to the team and aren't just throwaway side characters.
Bobby Cannavale plays Paxton, Scott Lang's daughter's new step dad, he is also a policeman, i thought that this role was going to be the stereotypical, new step-dad is a douche, but he is actually a fully formed character, which was a nice change to see, and adds to the family theme i was talking about earlier.
Lastly Michael Douglas as Hank Pym, the fact that Douglas is in an superhero movie is crazy! it shows how far these films have really come, the great thing is Douglas takes the role incredibly seriously, which is great and really makes the character feel credible, he is an interesting character, previously being a superhero, passing on the torch. His relationships with Scott and Hope are the foundations of the film and were very important to get right, and thankfully they did.
It would be great to see a prequel with Douglas' character, the did a very good job of fleshing him out and showing he was doing important things before this film.

Michael Douglas as Hank Pym

Ant-Man was a big surprise, its a small, focused story which is nice to see after such high stakes in the last few movies, and the theme of family is so strong throughout, it has real heart to it and is hilarious and has given birth to my favourite Avenger.

4.3/5

What did you think of Ant-Man?
Comment and let me know! 

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