DIRECTOR: peyton reed (yes man, bring it on, the break-Up)
STARRING: paul rudd, evangeline lilly, michael douglas, and michael pena
REVIEWER: lyall carter
Dr. Hank Pym recruits the talents of Scott Lang, a master thief just released from prison. Lang becomes Ant-Man, trained by Pym and armed with a suit that allows him to shrink in size, possess superhuman strength and control an army of ants. The miniature hero must use his new skills to prevent Cross, also known as Yellowjacket, from perfecting the same technology and using it as a weapon for evil.
Guardians of the Galaxy didn't follow the standard cookie - cutter Hollywood comic book movie. It's lead, Chris Pratt, was a little known actor from Parks and Recreation; a show that didn't have the kind of following that it has today. The humour was different, the characters were wacky, and some of the main characters bizarre. It was as far away from a typical Marvel movie that you could possibly get.
But it worked. Pratt's charm was infectious, the comedy hit every note, and 'I am Groot' was plastered on anything and everything. Marvel had broken the mould it so carefully created.
Buoyed by the success of Guardians, Marvel allowed itself to experiment, play, and take risks. Which brought us the wonderful Ant-Man.
It has to be one of Marvel's weirdest comic book heroes. A normal guy in a suit that can shrink to the size of an ant. Behold. ANTMAN! Oh and we won't cast a superstar Hollywood actor. We'll cast a comedic actor best known as the sports anchor who wears Sex Panther cologne in Anchorman. To top it off the original director Edgar Wright left the project in pre - production.
On paper it looked like a bigger, goofier risk than Guardians ever was. It looked like this was Marvel's first cinematic project that was going to fail miserably.
But it totally works.
Petty criminal Scott Lang breaks into Dr. Pym's home, steals what he thinks is a motorcycle suit, tries it on, shrinks, freaks out, takes it back, and is caught. While in jail, Dr. Pym sneaks the shrinking suit into his cell so Lang can escape. On the outside Dr. Pym lets Lang know that the whole stealing the suit thing was a test designed by Dr. Pym as an audition, of sorts, to become the new Ant-Man. Dr. Pym wants Lang to steal his former proteges shrinking suit, the Yellowjacket, to stop him from using the technology for evil.
This has to be, pardon the pun, Marvels smallest movie yet. The villain is quite human, the object isn't destroying some big battle ship in the sky, but is all about stealing a super shrinking suit for an evil dude. Essentially its a heist movie.
But its much more than that. The action sequences are great and with the tiny dimensions they are playing with they are not only fresh, new, and inventive but at times laugh out loud hilarious. Especially the scene with Thomas the Tank engine. If you haven't seen Ant-Man I won't spoil it for you but if you have you will be nodding in agreement with a big smile on your face.
I thought that Guardians was Marvel's funniest film yet. I think its trumped by Ant-Man. Its just down right funny - especially Michael Pena's character Luis and his explanation of how they discovered the teams new robbery target. Pure gold.
Paul Rudd works wonderfully as the good - at - heart crim who is trying his best to walk the straight and narrow and be a good father as well. He's funny, endearing, and knows how to scrap it out as a superhero. Michael Pena as Luis is a show stopper. Utterly hilarious as Lang's former cell mate, and steals the show more than once. Evangeline Lilly and Michael Douglas are great as a daughter and father duo as well as Corey Stoll as the villain of the piece.
The smallest Marvel superhero with the biggest heart, Ant-Man is filled with inventive action sequences, humour, and a cracking tale. Marvel - you've done it again.