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Overall Rating

Awesome: 4.55%
Worth A Look77.27%
Just Average: 0%
Pretty Crappy: 13.64%
Sucks: 4.55%

2 reviews, 10 user ratings

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by alejandroariera

"Good Things Come in Small Packages"
4 stars

I must confess I had my serious doubts about “Ant-Man,” especially after director Edgar Wright (“Shaun of the Dead,” “The World’s End”) left the project due to the traditional “creative differences.” An Edgar Wright-directed “Ant Man” would have been quirky, original; it would have stood out in the Marvel Universe. As a character and a concept, Ant-Man is not one that would make me run to the nearest comic book store to buy every single collected adventure or even back issue. So, the chances of my seeing a movie based on this character NOT directed by somebody as talented as Wright would have been pretty nil.

And yet, as directed by Peyton Reed (“Yes Man,” “The Break-Up”), “Ant-Man” is a pleasant surprise in a genre currently dominated by post 9-11 apocalyptic scenarios. “Ant Man” delivers fun bubble-gum entertainment that never insults your intelligence, a quality currently missing from most summer movie fare.
“Ant-Man” is, obligatorily, an origin story, but in this case one with a beating heart. Its basic plot outline is similar to the original “Iron Man”: it involves new technology that could fall in the wrong hands. Heck, even the antagonist is cut from the same cloth.

The technology in this case is a formula created by Dr. Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) that allows him to shrink to the size of an ant. The technology was put to good use by SHIELD during the Cold War; but when Hank discovers, in a prologue set in 1989, that SHIELD is trying to replicate this formula, he resigns.
Jump to the present time: Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a cat-burglar recently released from jail, wants to leave his criminal past behind so he can be closer to his daughter Cassie (Abby Rider Fortson), now living with his ex-wife (Judy Greer) and her cop fiancé (Bobby Cannavale reprising a variation of the paternal role he played early this year in “Danny Colllins”). He dismisses his best friend and partner-in-crime Luis’ (Michael Peña channeling John Leguizamo) entreaties to return to a life of crime. But going straight is hard for a felon.

Pym is having daughter issues of his own. Hope (Evangeline Lilly) fired him from his company years ago, replacing him with former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), who resents Pym for not sharing his secrets. Hope, on the other hand, resents Pym for not being truthful about her mother’s death and for not letting her wear the Ant-Man costume he designed decades ago. It’s this costume that allows its user to shrink down to subatomic size and even communicate with ants. Cross has designed a similar suit but has yet to figure out the key ingredient that will make it work. And yes, he wants to sell the technology, which he calls Yellowjacket, to the highest bidder.

To describe how Pym’s and Scott’s paths cross would spoil the head-scratching fun it provides. Suffice it to say that Scott has been chosen by Pym to be the new Ant-Man and that, with Hope’s help, they plan to break into the company, steal the technology and destroy all the pertaining files before they fall into the wrong hands.

Even though “Ant-Man” features the obligatory references to the Marvel Universe and even two of its characters make an appearance, the film is not weighed down by the Universe’s continuity. The script, as conceived originally by Wright and Joe Cornish and re-written by Rudd and Adam McKay, is frequently far more interested in character dynamics than in the action set pieces. Scenes such as Scott’s one-on-one with Hope about her father’s true intentions or his stopping by Cassie’s bedside in full Ant-Man regalia while she is asleep give the film a degree of intimacy and poignancy that is sorely lacking in many of your standard fare blockbuster.

Douglas delivers his usual gravitas to the role of Pym, a man burdened with regrets and responsibility. His presence in the film alone elevates it from the merely generic. Rudd is perhaps the most affable, down to earth superhero of the Marvel Universe: charming, tender and a tad sarcastic when the occasion calls for it, Rudd’s Scott is as much an everyman as Peter Parker or Steve Rogers when he was a scrawny young man. He is far more likeable and accessible than any member of The Avengers’ team of soldiers, demi-gods and lab freaks. Peña transforms what could have easily been a cartoonish role into comedy gold. He tells Luis’ stories of potential burglaries with glee and panache and his play-acting the role of a tough guy in the climactic sequence is one of the film’s many highlights.

Alas, like much of the Marvel Universe, the women here have not really much to do. In her second redundant role in a summer blockbuster after “Jurassic World,” Judy Greer is forced to play a one-note character as Scott’s ex-wife. And while in the film’s only major female role Evangeline Lilly gets to kick ass like Black Widow and has charisma and looks to spare, her character ends up taking a back seat to the mostly male cast. Fortunately, the post-final credit sequence hints at a larger role for her character.

The set pieces are ingenious, full of wonder and awe. They play with our sense of perspective; they are firmly rooted and inspired by countless heist movies and such science-fiction films and TV series as “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “Land of Giants” and “Them.” I was surprised to learn that the whole film was converted to 3D; if there is one movie that demanded the full 3D treatment, it was this one. And yet, unlike other conversions, this one works beautifully, giving these action sequences the sense that one is entering a different, fantastic world. That one is, in fact, Ant-Man.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=27061&reviewer=434
originally posted: 07/18/15 09:00:00
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User Comments

12/26/17 Dr. Lao Its not "Captain America," but its far from "The Hulk" 4 stars
2/13/17 morris campbell not bad addition 2 the marvel movies 4 stars
11/18/15 meep Standard and boring 2 stars
11/08/15 Oz1701 dull and unoriginal - maybe if i hadnt seen a marvel film before i might have thought other 2 stars
10/04/15 G. Very funny! I was pleasantly surprised to see it turn out this well. 4 stars
8/27/15 Laura I thought it was very funny, and entertaining. I really enjoyed it. 5 stars
8/24/15 DillonG A breath of fresh air for the Marvel movies. Paul Rudd nails it. 4 stars
8/22/15 The Big D Hank Pym's the only (Gi-)Ant Man, and industries that aid national security are heroes! 1 stars
8/10/15 KingNeutron They should have hired Leguizamo and NOT DESTROYED THE VILLAIN, he was great 4 stars
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  17-Jul-2015 (PG-13)
  DVD: 08-Dec-2015

  17-Jul-2015 (12A)

  16-Jul-2015 (PG)
  DVD: 08-Dec-2015

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