It’s been beaten to death but Ant-Man is without question Marvel’s biggest risk and ballsiest move to date. If you looked at Guardians of the Galaxy last summer and thought, wow, that's a gamble, I’m guessing you looked at Ant-Man and said “this could be the first big Marvel failure”. I was that guy and I am here to report that Ant-Man isn’t nearly the disaster it could have been.
If you had followed this movie the last couple of years you would know that it started out as an Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) joint before turning into a Peyton Reed (Yes, Man) picture. Based on that last sentence you can probably figure out my first issue with the film, the direction just isn’t up to par with what we expect out of our Marvel movies. The movie starts with an oddly paced flashback that sets the tone for the rest of the film. Jokes fall flat, action scenes seem like they are missing some of the flair seen in previous Marvel movies, the main villain is one dimensional, boring and pivotal scenes are for the most part, lacking that something special.
On the flip side, Ant-Man is a great character that was able to show immense promise, despite being stuck in an average movie. Paul Rudd doesn't really get to shine like one would expect, but the potential is there and by the end of the movie you can see where a skilled director could take him. The rest of the cast works really well. From Michael Douglas nailing Hank Pym to Evangelline Lilly lighting up the screen, despite an odd haircut(I know it matches the comics but it is still odd) to Michael Pena and his gang of misfits that include rap king T.I. and David Dastmalchian stealing every scene they were in. Outside of the bland performance by Corey Stall as Yellow Jacket, this cast was really well put together.
On the visual side, seeing the world from an ants perspective is and always will be awesome. Not since Honey I Shrunk the Kids has a movie captured the magic of what our world must look like from down there. Part of what makes this work is that the CG during these scenes has a style that perfectly captures the scope and paranoia that one might feel when seeing normal life in such a crazy way.
It was that little things gone big idea that made me think that this was a movie that would benefit from 3-D. As I walked out of the theater, I felt like I paid a premium to see the movie while wearing glasses that did nothing but mute the colors. Most of the time I couldn’t tell if something was popping out of the screen because of the 3-D effect or if it was just the way they were cooked up. That doesn’t really matter though because for the most part, the special effects were top notch.
This is an odd movie that I recommend only if you want to get an idea of what this franchise could become, not what it currently is. Ant-Man will only get bigger from here, that is now perfectly clear.
"Ant-Man is a mixed bag from beginning to end. I found myself loving parts of this movie and absolutely hating others, which has never happened to me on a Marvel movie before."
RELEASE DATE: July 17, 2015 | WATCHED IN: Theater | FORMAT: 3-D | RUNNING TIME: 1:57