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original title: Ant-Man
duration: 1h 57min
tags: No shield. No armor. No problem.
keywords: heist, ant, sabotage, miniaturizedman, vault, chinatownsanfrancisco, year1989, improvisedweapon, bugzapper, hitbyatrain, dualwield, regret, exconvict, miniaturization, formicary, knockedunconscious, s
Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) has just got out of jail, and seems consigned to a life of low rent living and even lower paid jobs. Down on his luck and depressed, he agrees to take on one more big time raid. But he doesn't know that this time, the potential victim is in on the act. For Scott is to rob the home of Dr Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), a brilliant scientist who retired from public life many years ago after his serum, which has the ability to shrink living subjects to the size of an ant, was misused by the company he worked for. Now, Dr Pym needs Scott to don the suit he designed and stop the diabolical Cross (Corey Stall) from wrecking hell.
There has been some kickback lately, what with the sheer onslaught of superhero films that are battering our screens, with even seasoned fans of the genre complaining of the 'infantilism' they are forging on people's minds. But they won't prove to be unpopular anytime soon, if things at the moment are anything to go by, and such it's a case of dividing the good ones from the bad ones. Ant-Man, another lesser known addition from the backlog of Marvel Comics, manages to score more hits than misses, and is for the most part a rollicking, crowd pleasing thrill ride that gets the tone just right, even if it doesn't quite know how to guide it.
With a director whose background appears to be more in comedy territory, the tone is never over laborious, and keeps the tongue in cheek spirit of the Avengers franchise in check. Admirably, the film establishes a proper asset up before getting in to the action, really taking time to develop the two main characters before charging in to the action. Sadly, once their paths cross, this doesn't last, and it loses it's sense of coherence a bit. By the end, it feels like it's been going on a little past it's two hour running time. Nevertheless, the film delivers where it's supposed to, the awesome, crowd pleasing set pieces, notably a grimy bathtub being turned into a spacious amphitheatre, people's feet needing to be dodged for dear life, and, more towards the end, a giant Thomas the Tank Engine coming to be discarded on a lawn! Plus there's the novelty of watching a man shrunk in to a grimy pulp, then casually flushed down a toilet (what other film can say that?)
It's neither as great as a lot of people say it is, or as bad as a few people say it is, but it's still a superior comic book film, that ticks all the right boxes and promises a fun filled ride. *** A crowd-pleaser that didn't please me. It reminded me of 'The Rocketeer' (1991) and like that film, Ant-Man will probably be forgotten about in relatively short period of time. A comic book hero like Superman endures, but I don't think Ant-Man will. 'The Shadow' (1994); that film is almost completely forgotten about; that's what I think will happen with Ant-Man. Michael Douglas's goats beard in Ant-Man annoyed me. The music was filler. I didn't like the smart, tough girl played by Evangeline Lilly. I didn't find Ant-Man funny; it was formula stuff; I've seen it all before; just think 'Antz' (1998) with an ordinary guy (like Spiderman or Captain America) who gets a suit that can shrink him to a minuscule size who commands insects and saves the world. Ant-Man was clever, but it presumed the audience was familiar with 'The Avengers' and 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'. Other audience members seemed to enjoy it; maybe I wasn't in the mood. It