Ant Man is an hour and forty minutes of disappointment, and twenty minutes of pure genius.
To say the majority of the film is disappointing is unfair, Paul Rudd who played Scott Lang, a paroled burglar who in a time of need returned to his criminal ways, as well as Michael Pena, his ex-con roommate, were excellent with their comedy. They were not breaking any new ground with their observations, but were clear with the delivery of their jokes, and took on mannerisms that helped create a realer setting for these characters, heightening their comedy.
Character relationships feel forced throughout the film. Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly (who was named Hope van Dyne, coincidently the second prospect for the Ant Man title) had a relationship that seemed forced throughout, not by poor pacing, certain aspects of the film focus on the wrong things, such as Paul Rudd’s training having no focus on the father/daughter relationship that had come to a climax by its close. Corey Stoll, who filled the role of Darren Cross, the film’s antagonist, had very clear cut relationships, a jealous attitude to the far greater creator of the film. If that had you thinking about Iron Man, then join the ranks, although his portrayal of a clear mentally deranged and power hungry CEO was good, his entire character was pulled from the first of the Avengers films which meant he was acting against Jeff Bridges.
The music was stock for an action film, nothing that stays with the viewer, aside from The Cure’s Disintegration, and that is only for the joke that came from it.
This brings me to the saving grace of this film. Ant Man is not so interesting as a character, not without the darker personal life of Hank Pym, who suffered from many mental problems and abused his partner in the original comics. It was never the mask that was interesting, but the man behind it. So when they decided to use Scott Lang, a decidedly less grey character, they lost the meat of the film. It seems no one involved realised this, attempting to make a deeper action film than was really possible, but there was a realisation right at the end. The last twenty minutes of the film, for a lack of a better phrase, went ham. No joke was too outrageous, no situation too extraordinary. The climactic battle happens all at the size of an ant, however many of the actions performed have bigger consequences than initially perceived, such as a laser narrowly missing Paul Rudd’s character, only to tear a car sized hole through the wall.
Had the film been over the top in contrast to the tiny scale it is performed on from the start, it would have definitely stood out a lot more amongst the bounty of Marvel films, but in its attempts to work with story-lines it did not have at its disposal, leaving the audience with an easily forgettable experience. — Chris Pirina
Top photo official Ant Man advertising.