Review: Ant-Man

Ant-Man “Ant-Man” is so funny, so charming, and so confident that its absurdly goofy premise never spirals into unbelievability. What director Peyton Reed and screenwriters Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd have created is an absolute joy to behold. The action is thrilling, the characters are engaging, the drama is emotional, and the surprises are actually surprising. The dialogue and gags are flat out hilarious all the way through. I haven’t laughed this much since last year’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” With such an oddball premise, it’s approached the only way a film like this should be, which is to fill it with as much weirdness as possible. There are moments that reach Joe Dante levels of zaniness.

Every actor is on their A-game, and every character is given a moment to shine. Paul Rudd is outstanding as the titular Ant-Man, hitting every beat perfectly, evolving from a recently released burglar and absentee father to a brave and honorable superhero, willing to go to any lengths to save those around him. Michael Douglas nearly steals the picture as Hank Pym, the genius inventor who employs Rudd’s Scott Lang to become the man of ants. Pym needs Lang to steal a weaponized suit developed by Darren Cross (Corey Stoll), a former apprentice who now runs the company and has exploited Pym’s shrinking technology for his own monetary gain. Evangeline Lily is equally as outstanding as Pym’s daughter, helping to train Lang in quite possibly one of the most whimsical and nutty training sequences of all time. It’s a shame the film doesn’t give her more to do in the climax. Michael Pena delivers another eccentric performance, reaching up there with his bizarre security guard from “Observe and Report.”     His flashbacks alone are worth the price of admission.


All the characters are treated with an enormous amount of respect. As Lang’s dimwitted best friend, Pena’s Luis is never made fun of; in fact, he’s called upon at a crucial moment in the film. Pym and his daughter, Hope, have a normal relationship, despite the fact that she knows her father is keeping a secret from her. There’s never any necessary animosity between the two. In fact, there’s a revelation pretty early in the film, one that’s conventionally reserved for a third act moment in most films. Here though, it’s used so we can see this father-daughter relationship develop as opposed to just a brief moment before the film ends. Judy Greer plays Scott’s ex-wife, Maggie, once again showing up in a minor role in a summer blockbuster. Maggie, along with her fiancé (Bobby Cannavale), understandably have hesitation and anger towards Scott and question his presence around their daughter. Neither Greer nor Cannavale are never depicted as unreasonable people; as an audience, we understand their position, and it pays off in the end.


Musical scores have never been a strong aspect of the Marvel films; very few are actually memorable. Christophe Beck delivers one of the better themes, right behind “The Avengers” score. It’s playful and epic, and would have fit perfectly in a 1960’s caper.

I’ve thought a lot about “Ant-Man,” and I can’t help but think it’s a nearly perfect film. If I say I enjoyed “Guardians of the Galaxy” more shouldn’t be held against it, and who knows, in time, that may even change. “Ant-Man” takes a while to build momentum, and Stoll’s villain is a bit too obvious (who would ever put this guy in charge?), but it never detracts from the enjoyment.


Shrinking characters is nothing new for cinema. We’ve seen it done in “The Incredible Shrinking Man,” “Innerspace,” Honey, I Shrunk the Kids,” and, of course, everyone’s favorite, “The Ant Bully.” the filmmakers have crated a piece of cinema that stands with the best of them. Reed understands the excitement in transforming everyday household objects into instruments of doom. There isn’t a city that’s about to fall from the sky and annihilate mankind, but the stakes in “Ant-Man” are unexpectedly riveting, combined with exceptional choreography and dramatic depth. Simply put, this film is electrifying.



I never stand in front of the elevator doors when they open. All because of the movie The Departed.

1 Response to “Review: Ant-Man”

  1. Brian White

    RAID MAX! Nice touch!