small things come in great packages
Presents At Savoy 3D Cinema from 17th July 2015 ‘Ant-Man’
Directed by: Peyton Reed
Produced by: Kevin Feige
Screenplay by: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay and
Edited by: Dan Lebental Colby Parker, Jr.
Cast: Paul Rudd as Scott Lang/Ant-Man,
Michael Douglas as Dr. Hank Pym, Evangeline Lilly as Hope
Van Dyne, Corey Stoll as Darren Cross/Yellowjacket, Michael
Peña as Luis, Bobby Cannavale as Paxton,
Music by: Christophe Beck
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion
In its efforts to colonize the multiplex with heroes, Marvel Studios
has gone big (Thor), bigger (Hulk), neurotic (Spider-Man), unmanicured
(Wolverine) and anarchist collective (Avengers) and finally decided that
less is more.
Turns out they were right: Ant-Man, while based on a minor deity in
Marvel’s pantheon, is not only one of the more entertainingly human
fantasies to come out of the studio, but it also defies the bedrock
fanboy aesthetic that you don’t want to merely watch the superhero; you
want to be the superhero. Who wants to be a tiny little man, running
through carpet nap like it was a cornfield in North by Northwest?
For any of Ant-Man’s deficiencies in the vicarious-thrills
department, his movie is balanced by multilayered performances as well
as a reliance on formula—not the kind that helps our hero, ex-con cat
burglar Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), shrink to insect size, but the kind that
gets a movie over on an audience.
At no time during director Peyton Reed’s concoction does a viewer
feel he’s not being played by a movie that’s equal parts revenge tale,
redemptive parable, apocalyptic thriller and cornucopia of oedipal
clichés. Still, the pace of the wisecracks, pathos, CGI fireworks and
scientific double-talk is highly satisfying, even comfortable. Likewise
the actors selling it.
has always been a curious quantity, a team player to the point of bench
sitting. Likable, popular, he’s never gotten the star bump from an
Apatow comedy of the kind enjoyed by Steve Carell or Seth Rogen. And in
Ant-Man once again he’s less than the centerpiece, being elbowed aside
by the scenery-devouring Michael Douglas.
As Hank Pym, the original Ant-Man, Douglas maneuvers Lang into
thwarting the plans of Pym’s former protégé Darren Cross (Corey Stoll),
an incipient madman who plans to sell Pym’s ideas to the military—or
whatever nefarious interest will pay the most. Rudd brings the warmth,
though, which has never been a Marvel priority.
When we first see Lang emerge from prison, he presumes that his
master’s degree in electrical engineering will lead to
Cut to Baskin-Robbins, where he’s relegated to serving numbskulls and
working for worse. Desperate to pay his past-due child support so he can
see his daughter, he signs on with a trio of larcenous goofballs who
have a tip: inside some rich guy’s house in San Francisco is a safe
containing untold fortune. What they find isn’t money or jewels. It’s a
hybrid motorcycle suit and snorkel mask—the Ant-Man suit. The rich guy
The origin story is always the easiest to pull off—the introduction
of characters, the training montages. Ant-Man does it all, though Lang
has his own skill set when the movie starts, which elevates him above
Peter Parker–ish naivete. He’s practiced at parkour, knows technology
and cracks Pym’s safe with a series of innovations that are downright
magical, as is Reed’s direction of same.
also a complication with Pym’s supposedly estranged daughter Hope
(Evangeline Lilly), a martial-arts master and tech savant who doesn’t
understand why Dad won’t let her put on the Ant-Man suit. Which makes
her less intelligent than she seems to be. Fathers worshipping daughters
is a big element in Ant-Man, along with sons rejecting fathers: Cross
was mentored by Pym and feels abandoned; his inner turmoil is less Oprah
The bonding of Lang and Pym, on the other hand, will lead to great
things. And sequels.
-JohnAnderson for Time