By: Mike Agostinelli
If I were lame as all hell, and most movie critics are these days, I would start this review with a size-related pun. Like “Ant-Man proves that size really DOESENT matter!” or “the smallest hero brings some of this summers BIGGEST entertainment!” But I’m not one of those overpaid tools. Ant-Man is a good movie. Thats all I got.
Following on the heels of an entertaining yet slightly-lacking Avengers sequel, Marvel tones things down a bit and gives us a partially stand-alone superhero origin story, but done up in exciting and original new ways. If you ever wanted to see a superhero heist comedy with some crazy action scenes, this is your movie. I applaud its desire to break formula a bit and try something new, especially since the departure of the films initial director left some thinking this would just be another identical movie spit out of the Marvel machine. In some ways it is, but in the most important ways it isnt. And it keeps up that feel-good Marvel tone that ends in you walking away with a smile on your face.
Paul Rudd makes an engaging yet slightly subdued hero, and Michael Douglas elevates every scene he’s in with a surprisingly game attitude considering some of the ridiculous nonsense that comes out of his mouth. I also enjoyed the various cameos from Hayley Atwell as Agent Carter and John Slattery as Howard Stark. The movie even connects to the overall Marvel Cinematic Universe in many ways, with Avengers member cameos and an end credit scene that seems to be a scene from the upcoming Captain America: Civil War.
Is everything perfect though? Not particularly. The pacing is off. While the first half is entertaining, its noticeably slower than the back half, which crams its action scenes into a 45-minute span almost as if its in a giant rush. There are also clear signs of Marvel executives fiddling around with the story, adding in certain mandated things like a forced Hydra connection and the aforementioned Avengers member appearance. Everyone also keeps talking about Michael Pena’s performance in the film like its a godsend, but I found it to be quite annoying. He’s an illiterate racial stereotype fool spouting off nonsense and lucking his way out of situations. Not sure what the big deal is.
But overall you can’t go wrong with a Marvel movie. You’ll always be entertained, and it’ll always be fun. I wonder though: when will this fad end? These movies find ways to be different, but overall theyre the same story done up in shiny new ways. Here the shine worked for me, but I feel like sometime soon it wont for common folk who dont obsess over comics like I do. I suppose only time will tell. Oh, and I dare you to not have the Ant-Man theme stuck in your head for hours after you see this movie. Its epic.
I give Ant-Man an 8 out of 10.
Next up: Pixels