I don’t feel it yet, but apparently there are a few people who do think that Marvel’s superhero movies are becoming too formulaic and too redundant gradually. I got a lot of this when Age of Ultron released, which by the way was epic but missed a lot of the fun dynamics that the first Avengers movie had.
To be honest, I had minor expectations from this one but as a true Marvel fanatic, I couldn’t not watch this. If anything, I probably went for Paul Rudd and Evengeline Lily (Pheobe’s husband Mike from Friends; Kate from LOST, respectively). I always liked Paul’s comic sense and I wondered how he’d fit into this serious superhero role.
Keeping with the tradition, I won’t give much of the story away. But I thought this was a welcome diversion from the other ‘epic’ stories. And since when does something needed to be epic to be awesome anyway? Ant-Man proves that a simple enough script, when treated with care and enough inventiveness, is enough to make for an entertaining watch.
So there is basically a suit, embedded with a mystical formula, that has the ability to shrink the wearer to the size of an ant. This suit was created by a Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and he has kept it secret for the fear of having it fall in the wrong hands. But naturally, there’s a bad guy who’s after this elusive piece of tech. In time, he creates his own version of the suit, the Yellowjacket (which looks like a wasp). Hank Pym then recruits Scott (Paul), a former hi-tech burglar to perform a major heist to steal the jacket. This is just me glossing over the story, but trust me it feels much more deep when you actually watch it. Because the main emotional core of the movie is actually about Scott and his 4-year old daughter. Whatever he does, he does to get back to her.
In that sense, I liked the light-heartedness of the entire film. This is not a movie where the entire mankind is threatened if the heroes do not turn saviors. And New York city is not bombarded by alien forces in the final showdown, it actually happens on a toy train. Yes, you have to see to believe it. Coming to the performances, Paul Rudd was equally suave and funny as needed. His comic timing is intact and puts up a delightful performance. Evangeline Lily too gets a meaty role and makes the best of it. Though I have to say it was difficult getting used to her short hair! The other cast were good too, especially that guy from House of Cards who plays the villain.
Other things that stood out in the film:
1) The Visual Effects! They did a fantastic job of bringing the microscopic world to life. The very first time the hero shrinks, it’s in a bathtub and someone turns on the tap. You can imagine the rest.
2) The ants themselves. They’re our hero’s trusty accomplices and help him out in his mission by performing cool stunts. And of course, Ant-thony! ❤
3) That wonderful scene with Apple’s Siri. Nuff said.