Advertisements

Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Ant-Man (2015)


Never be afraid to dream a little bigger. Unless Kevin Feige says otherwise.

After being released from prison for a robbery he committed on some company he worked for many years ago, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) finally gets a shot to take back his life and make amends for the pain he’s put his ex-wife (Judy Greer) and daughter through. Problem is, Scott’s past is so shoddy, that he’s finding it harder and harder to get a job, start anew and move on from what he once was. That’s why when one of his buddies (Michael Peña) brings up the idea of pulling off a vault-heist on some old dude’s house, he’s initially hesitant, but also realizes that cat-burglarizing is what he’s best at – whether he likes to admit it or not. Little does he know that the old man’s house he’s robbing is Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a scientist who once worked for Stark Enterprises and left when he realized that one of his inventions were getting used for all the wrong reasons. But now, with Scott, Hank has found his perfect guinea pig for his pet-project: Ant-Man.

Puns intended.

Sort of like how I watch my next-door neighbor....

Sort of like how I watch my next-door neighbor….

Already going into Ant-Man, there was a feeling of disdain from yours truly. Most of that has to do with the fact that, not only does it seem like the Marvel machine is growing to be more and more of the same entertaining, but generic thing, time and time again, but that there’s hardly a chance for anyone to come in and try to shake that formula up. Case in point, Edgar Wright – someone who is able to make many movie-nerds foam at the mouth at the possibility of him both writing and directing something. And heck, put his own sense of zany style in a Marvel movie, where a bigger cast and budget would be at his free reign, you bet your bottom dollar that the hype-train just gets more and more packed.

But sadly, and predictably, I guess, things didn’t pan out so well.

For one, Wright left and the powers that be within Disney were left scrambling far and wide for the next possible replacement to pick up the slack and see if they could make water out of ice. With Peyton Reed, most people involved with Marvel and Disney felt as if they found the most suitable replacement available and honestly, I can’t hold many qualms with that decision. Even despite the fact that Reed’s previous directorial efforts include the horrendous Yes Man and Break-Up, clearly they were working against a deadline and came up with whomever they felt was more than willing and capable of handling the job.

Sure, Reed’s no Wright, but then again, who the hell is? Though Reed’s directing-style may borderline on “generic”, he still handles a few action set-pieces well enough to where we get the same sort of imagination and frivolous fun that we would come to expect with Wright. If anything, Reed’s style is so mediocre, that it helps not get in the way of what could have been a very pushy and needy movie. Sort of like a pet who wants you to pet it, so it just cozies up to you, never leaves you alone, and stares deep into your eyes until you give in and give it what it wants.

Pretty sure you can’t pet ants, but you get my drift.

So, with that all said, it’s worth mentioning that Ant-Man turns out to actually be a bit of a better movie than I expected from all the controversy surrounding it in the pre-production stage. One of the main reasons that Ant-Man works well, is because it doesn’t feel like it’s trying to get out there in this huge, Marvel universe, and tell a bunch of other stories that it doesn’t need to bother with; instead, it’s focus is solely on Scott Lang and whomever else is around him. Some may be annoyed at the fact that other Marvel superheros don’t get the time of day like they do in other flicks, but somehow, it works in this movie’s favor; it helps keep things simple, contained and most of all, entertaining, without ever trying to be more complicated than it needs to be.

With hair like that, you bet she can kick your ass.

With hair like that, you bet she can kick your ass.

Still though, that’s not to say that this movie doesn’t feel as if, considering what Marvel’s been up to in the past couple or so years, a bit of a disappointment. And this most definitely has to do with the fact that there were so many hiccups before filming even got started, because something does feel a bit “off” about Ant-Man while watching it. Maybe the fact that there were literally four writers on this thing has something to do with it, but also due to the fact that the movie itself doesn’t always set out to blow our minds.

Sometimes, there’s no problem with that; in most cases, all you need is a good time to get you through everything. But something feels odd in this movie where the humor can sometimes feel tacked-on and random, as if it were just thrown in there so Marvel could keep up with the formula that their movies hold so dear to their hearts – exposition, action scene, character development, witticism, rinse and repeat. The jokes themselves are a bit hit-or-miss, but whether or not they’re funny isn’t really the point – what is, is whether or not they feel like they deserved to be tossed in there when they are, and they sort of don’t. I’m glad at least one of the four writers made an attempt, but sometimes, it’s best to just take a back-seat and let things move for a little while.

But when things go wrong in movies such as these, it’s always best to depend on the cast to save the day, which is what they do.

Well, sort of.

Paul Rudd, as usual, is charming, funny and cool as Scott Lang, even if it feels like he’s never quite given that opportunity to shine, break out from his comfort-shell and prove exactly why he deserves to be taken seriously as this superhero. None of that has to do with Rudd himself, though, as it’s most definitely the script’s fault for not spending more time in fleshing him, or anybody else at. Because where it stands, mostly everybody here is fine at playing these characters on a superficial, surface-area level and that’s about it.

Such talented folks like Corey Stoll, Evangeline Lilly, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Martin Donovan, Michael Peña, and Michael Douglas, all play their characters in such a way that makes it seem like they just came ready to play around for awhile and that’s it. Once again, not their fault, it’s just a bummer considering that with these names, you’d expect something so much better. Way better, actually.

If only Edgar Wright stayed on.

Consensus: Without trying too hard, Ant-Man is a perfectly serviceable piece of superhero blockbuster, but considering the company it keeps, it can’t help but feel like a small step down.

6.5 / 10

Until next year, bro.

Until next year, bro.

Photo’s Credit to: IMDB, AceShowbiz

Advertisements

9 responses to “Ant-Man (2015)

  1. angie chui July 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Ant-Man has his work cut out for him and with this current trend of superheroes almost every month, his task was pretty difficult. great review man

  2. Brittani July 17, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    As much as I like Paul Rudd, I wasn’t really interested in Ant-Man until I saw Falcon was going to make an appearance. Hopefully it will surprise me a bit. Great review!

  3. NerdlingTales July 17, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    I went to a screening of Ant-Man and I very much enjoyed it. I do understand why you feel the way you feel about the movie and its flaws (especially the humor, sometimes it feels a bit shoved in there), but some of your arguments come off as angry simply because the director all of us wanted didn’t make this movie and now you want to find reasons not to like it. It is something I have been noticing about several other fans of the Marvel Universe, they want to find things to dislike because Wright left and not wanting to see the movie as its own thing outside of that anger. Just my opinion. I could be totally off base about you.

  4. ninvoid99 July 17, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    I know Dan. I feel your pain. The fact that Edgar Wright was attached to this made me extremely interested. I think if he had stuck around and got things his way. He would’ve made a masterpiece.

  5. Pingback: Hyper Link – The Best Stuff On The Web This Week |

  6. Rodney Twelftree July 19, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    Not sure what Edgar Wright’s version of Ant Man would have been like, but I think it’s disingenuous to compare a film that wasn’t made to the one which ended up on the screen. Still, at least this isn’t Marvel’s first “bomb” in the MCU – I can’t wait to see it!! Nice review, dude.

  7. Hypersonic55 July 22, 2015 at 11:58 am

    Interesting review Dan. While it certainly would have been interesting to see what Edgar Wright would have done with this film, I think this film turned out way better than I thought it would have considering the troubled production. I went into the film optimistic but not too hyped and ccame out of the film immediately wanting to see it again. Not since Guardians and Cap 2 have I been this happy and satisfied with a Marvel film. Ant-Man was fun, intentive and really hilarious. It really is a pretty good effort from Marvel and I can’t understand the hate this film is getting.

  8. Mark Hobin July 31, 2015 at 7:51 am

    I’m surprised with how little this movie made out of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films. At the very least, it’s better than The Incredible Hulk.

  9. Evan Crean November 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    I agree that Peyton Reed actually handled Ant-Man’s action set pieces pretty well. The whole thing turned out much better than I expected. You’re right that its narrow focus really works to its advantage. I liked Paul Rudd as Scott Lang and thought that Michael Douglas was an excellent choice for Hank Pym. He added a lot of gravitas to the part. I also appreciated its mixture of humor and the whole heist dynamic. I liked it a little more than you did as a whole. My rating might be a smidge higher.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: