Ant-Man (Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, PG-13)

Ant-man 75Ant-Man is not about another hero saving the world; it’s about a man trying to right his wrongs to be with his daughter.

 

 

 

 

Ant-man 500

A superhero with the power to shrink to the size of an ant, and communicate with ants through his mind…it sounds ridiculous—and it is—but it’s also great.

He wears a suit. He has powers. What makes Ant-Man different from any other superhero? It’s simple: Ant-Man is not about another hero saving the world; it’s about a man trying to right his wrongs to be with his daughter.

Director Peyton Reed (Yes Man) delivers a really solid action film here. As every action fan loves, we get our explosions and our fights, but those do not monopolize the screen time. Reed puts us right into the world and lets us get to know each of the characters on a personal level rather than spending 80 percent of the film watching guys in suits beat each other up.

Paul Rudd is phenomenal in this film. He gives Ant-Man more life than we’re used to seeing in heroes. Beyond being hilarious, Rudd really captures the essence of his character’s longing to put his mistakes behind him and become the man his daughter believes him to be.

Rudd also had a hand in the screenplay, written with Edgar Wright (The World’s End), Joe Cornish (Attack the Block), and Adam McKay (Anchorman), and the script is nothing if not hilarious. This skilled team of writers tackle multiple storylines, all of which flow nicely together and no story feels out of place or seems to really outshine another.

Other notable performances include Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, the great mentor who turns Scott Lang into Ant-Man, and Corey Stoll (Non-Stop, House of Cards) as the villain Yellowjacket. However, the real scene-stealers are the band of misfits Ant-Man enlists for help, played by Michael Peña, T.I, and David Dastmalchian—this group consistently provides comic relief throughout the film. Whenever things get too serious or a scene starts to drag on, these guys are close by to save the day.

The only drawback of Ant-Man lies in the effects. Most of the visual effects in the film are fantastic, but once you start getting up close and personal with the ants they look less and less realistic, and this takes you out of the film. However, whenever a scene threatens to remind you that you’re watching a movie, you’re quickly distracted by something funny and then thrown right back into the world. As far as seeing the insects depicted in their actual size from a normal human view, be warned that if you’re squeamish with swarms of bugs a good amount of this film will be hard to watch.

I’ve heard a lot of skeptical views of how this one would play out, and I’ll admit I didn’t expect it to hold a candle to other Marvel films, but Ant-Man crushes expectations. It’s just more—more than an action film, more than a comedy, more than a superhero film, more than another guy with powers. There is real story here—a good story—and while you may find yourself thinking “this is ridiculous” here and there, I guarantee you’ll still enjoy every second of it. | Samantha LaBat

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