By Gary Murray
Starring Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lily and Michael Douglas
Written by Edgar Wright & Joe Cornish and Adam McKay & Paul Rudd
Directed by Peyton Reed
Running time 117 min
MPAA Rating PG-13
Selig Film News Rating Matinee
The Marvel Universe is expanding again. The company has gone from single films to one of the biggest moneymakers on the planet with The Avengers. The Marvel logo at the beginning of the film almost always guarantees millions at the box office. The latest film in the series is Ant Man
This is yet another origin story. Scott Lang (Paul Ruud) is a thief who when we first see him is in a prison fight. We also find out that his theft was a Robin Hood style caper where he stole from the rich and gave to the poor. He’s a good guy burglar with a high sense of right and wrong. He also has an ex-wife and child on the outside.
Scott has been watched by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas). Lang is coaxed into stealing a suit, the Ant Man suit, a device that shrinks humans down to ant size. But small has stealth capacities, giving the wearer decided dangerous set of skills. He can use the suit to summon different breeds of ants to do his bidding. All in all, it is a super cool device to have around.
On the other side of the story, Darren Cross has spent decades working on the same technology which he calls Yellow-jacket. As Darren comes closer and closer, he is being watched by Hope (Evangeline Lily). Hope is Dr Hank Pym’s daughter and still works at the company. Pym wants Scott to break into his old company and steal the device using the Ant Man suit. Basically the film is a giant heist feature set in a Fantastic Voyage type of set, just a bit bigger.
Michael Douglas is the scientist who designed the suit and Evangeline Lily is his daughter. There is a nice retort between the two although it does feel a bit forced at times. The scenes between them needed a little more sizzle but Michael handles the performances with his basic flair.
Paul Ruud takes a flippant attitude to the role of Ant Man as if he’s too cool for the material. One feels as if he just wants to put on the Iron Man suit and fly around the screen. There is such a rogue detachment that becomes endearing at times. To be blunt, he’s smug
His charm wins but he has little chemistry with Evangeline Lily. The one big romantic tussle is much more tussle than romance. One never feels the spark between them. The romance is one of the weaker elements to the story.
There is this giant training montage and planning montage that takes up a good third of the film. Finally we get t6 the meat of the film. That is the battle between Ant Man and Yellow-jacket. It takes place in both regular and miniature worlds, where a Thomas the Train becomes a giant locomotive. It is silly but still within the realm of the parameters lay out by the screenplay.
The special effects of Ant Man are on the level of The Avengers flawless computer generated images. I really do not think that it is worth the extra investment of seeing it in 3D. Yes some of the miniatures are impressive, just not worth the added expense.
Ant Man is a good film but not a great film. It is much more a ‘watch it on a rainy day’ type of flick than a ‘rush out and see it ASAP’ flick. It fits into the Marvel Universe and sets up yet another Ant Man adventure and the Marvel Civil Wars Adventure. These films are beginning to become a male version of a soap opera.