Ant Man – Reviewed by David Emms
My daughter and I went to our favourite cinemas (Hoyts Tea Tree Plaza) to see the latest MARVEL Blockbuster Ant-Man.
As always, I’ll declare my allegiance up front – I’m a big fan of the MARVEL Cinematic Universe. And almost all of the MARVEL Films, including those sub-leased to 20th Century Fox (The X-Men films) and Sony (The Spider-Man films). Yes, I’m a MARVEL Fanboy from way, way back – since the 1970s – when I first started watching the original Spiderman and Fantastic Four cartoon series on weekdays after school. And since MARVEL started making their own Superhero Films since the first Iron Man in 2008, they haven’t missed a trick, with hit after hit coming out at regular intervals.
And perhaps the true genius of the MARVEL films is the fact that despite all their films being ‘Superhero Films’, they actually make films of varying genres, weaving all of the different styles and storylines into a larger ‘universe’. The Incredible Hulk is their monster film. The Thor films are their fantasy films. The first Captain America film is their WWII War film. Captain America: The Winter Soldier is their spy thriller. And Guardians of the Galaxy is their sci-fi blockbuster. All different styles of film. But all part of the larger MARVEL Cinematic Universe.
In that respect, Ant-Man is MARVEL’s ‘heist’ film, one of those films where the protagonists break into the impregnable vault or facility and make off with their objective. And it’s made in true MARVEL-style, with a lot of action, some cool special effects and a good deal of humour. I also loved the fact that Ant-Man star Paul Rudd co-wrote the screenplay, no doubt putting a lot of his considerable history in classic Hollywood comedies to good use in the script. And the plot goes along at a good pace, gathering steam from about a third of the way through towards the big finish. The background from the MARVEL comics is nicely featured too, with Dr Hank Pym (the first Ant-Man), Janet Pym (the Wasp) and Scott Lang (the second Ant-Man and the hero of this flick) all featured.
Paul Rudd is great as the previously little-known but not-little-in-power Scott Lang/Ant-Man, and Evangeline Lily, previously seen in The Hobbit films and before that the TV series LOST, is a decent enough foil to Rudd. Michael Douglas brings all his experience to the role of Dr Hank Pym, and pulls the part off quite well. The supporting cast perform their roles with aplomb.
And as always with the MARVEL Cinematic Universe, there are flashbacks, links, Easter eggs and hints placed all throughout the film, linking Ant-Man to the larger Avengers storyline, of which this film is end of The Avengers Phase II (Phase III begins with next April’s mega-blockbuster, “Captain America: Civil War”). Keep your eye out in particular for a scene about halfway through the movie – just brilliant! And, as always with all of MARVEL’s films, make sure you stay through the end credits – there are TWO extra scenes (one in the middle of the credits, one right after the end of all the credits).
If you like MARVEL’s Superhero films, you’ll like this movie too.
4 stars + 0.5 star loading for a film series I’m (well-and-truly) invested in = 4.5 stars