It’s a bit late but Ant-Man is the final film left in the MCU that I haven’t reviewed, so this is the last Marvelous Monday…. or is it.
Ant-Man stars Paul Rudd (Role Models, I Love You Man), Michael Douglas (The Game, Basic Instinct), Evangeline Lily (Lost, Real Steel), Corey Stoll (Non-Stop, Midnight in Paris) and is directed by Peyton Reed (Yes Man, The Break-Up)
Scott Lang (Rudd) is a cat burglar, who’s released from prison and is trying to put his life back together, until he’s pulled back into the criminal life by Hank Pym (Douglas). Lang is given a suit, with the ability to shrink him down to the size of an ant and must uses his new abilities to pull of his biggest heist yet, to save the world.
Ant-Man was in development for a long time and director Edgar Wright was on the project way before the MCU even started. After Wright fell out with Marvel, due to creative differences, Peyton Reed was brought on to direct. Despite loving the trailers, I was cautious going into this film, knowing it didn’t have the smoothest ride being made. Well I rewatched Ant-Man today and I can happily say it was great in cinemas and it’s still great now.
I want to start with Peyton Reed because he was my biggest fear going into this film. I love all of Edgar Wrights films and was very excited to see his take on Ant-Man, so when he left the film, it was always going to be hard to find a director I would be OK with replacing Wright. Peyton Reed was not a name I was expecting and not one I liked at the time. I don’t like any of his previous work and I was worried I wouldn’t like Ant-Man. Well Reed did a really good job with this film and proved me completely wrong. He hit the perfect tone of comedy, action, drama and made a character I didn’t care about, someone I wanted to see several films off.
The concept of a superhero shrinking down and communicating with ants, sound ridiculous and should be but Peyton Reed made it work. The action in this film is extremely creative and very funny. I don’t know how much of it came from Edgar Wright (the briefcase and train sequences in particular) but whoever’s responsible deserves a lot of praise for their imagination. The set pieces put together with the ants are incredible. I remember sitting in the cinema being blown away by how spectacular and realistic, it looked watching Ant-Man running side by side with ants.
When Marvel choose their lead star for a new series, it’s usually someone you’re not expecting. Paul Rudd was another choice that seemed odd at the time but Rudd is a great actor and no one should be surprised he pulled off an action hero so well. We know he can do comedy but like Chris Pratt, he got in great shape and you believed he could kick-ass too. He’s a welcome edition to the MCU and Avengers.
All MCU films have a veteran actor and Ant-Man has Michael Douglass. He plays the original Ant-man, Hank Pym and he pretty much steals the show. He’s outstanding as the old badass and like Rudd handles the comedy really well. I love the old actors, who come into the MCU films because you can always be comfortable, knowing they’re going to give you a great performances. His relationship with his daughter, played by Evangeline Lily, is really touching and they had wonderful chemistry. I’ve liked Evangeline Lily more and more, every time I’ve seen her since Lost. She’s become an action star and it won’t be long until she has her own action franchise.
Ant-Man is a much smaller film, compared to the MCU film it followed, Avengers: Age of Ultron. Ant-Man is Marvel’s heist film and all the heist aspects work but the comedy in this film is what really stood out to me. I laughed out loud several times in this film and laughed even harder the second time watching it at home. The humor is spot on and I don’t think a single joke misses. Peyton Reed did a tremendous job with the comedy in this film and Ant-Man is probably the second most funniest Marvel film, only beaten by Guardians of the Galaxy.
Speaking of the humor, Michael Peña plays Ant-Man’s friend and he is the funniest character in the film. Everything he said was hilarious and never annoying. There’s a bit they do several times, when Peña is tell Scott something that he has learned from someone else. I was laughing constantly every time they did it and it feels like something that came from the brain of Edgar Wright.
Unfortunately Ant-Man isn’t perfect and of course it’s because of the villain. Corey Stoll (who I really like) plays the villain Yellow Jacket. The design of Yellow Jacket is cool, scary and makes for some awesome action scenes but the actual character is boring, redundant and lacks any motivation. Marvel for some reason likes to make the bad guy, in the first of a series, the same as the hero. They did this with, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Cap and now Ant-Man. It never really worked in any of those films and feels very uncreative, in a film that’s full of imagination.
Another little nitpick, is in the first 20 minutes the dialogue was a bit clunky but when the film kicks in, that all goes away.
Ant-Man is a new series in the MCU that managed to be original and set it’s self apart from all the others before it. The performances are great and it was one of the funniest films of last year.
What’s your thoughts on Ant-Man?
I’ve now reviewed all the MCU film before I see Captain America: Civil War, Thursday night!! But I’m not finished making Marvelous Monday’s. I probably won’t do one every week but whenever I watch, read or buy anything Marvel related, I’ll do a Marvelous Monday and review whatever it may be. I’ve never posted anything about the Netflix series’s that Marvel have been doing so there probably be first on the list.