Directed By: Peyton Reed
Written By: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, and Paul Rudd (though it’s all complicated)
Here’s a movie that couldn’t have been more unexpectedly awesome. In fact this is the film I point to when I tell people that it’s a good thing Disney owns so much of the industry. This is a movie that by all rights should be awful. For any practical thinking person the idea of a super hero that shrinks can’t come across as anything other than lame. Yet here they manage to not only make that movie good, but they made it really cool and exceptionally exciting. This is an incredibly delightful movie that is a lot of fun to watch.
I am not a Paul Rudd fan. I have enjoyed many of the movies he is in but have always refused to give him credit for doing anything more than serving as adequate back up to other actors. Nevertheless I find that I am so impressed with him in this movie. I specifically thought it was a horrible idea when he was cast. I was wrong and am not only willing but happy to admit that. Paul Rudd is great in this part being both funny and badass. The latter I never imagined he was capable of being. Rudd is as surprising and awesome as everything else in this movie turned out to be.
The success of this film is quite surprising given how long it lingered in production and how many rewrites it sustained along the way. I don’t remember the specifics and don’t care to look them up at the moment but I remember for a long time Edgar Wright was attached to direct the film until he had a falling out with the studio and the movie got a rewrite and new director. I remember this film being in production for what seemed like a really long time. As the Marvel Cinematic Universe continued to grow this suddenly became an intricate part of the greater scheme of things. Ant-Man immediately fit into the MCU, even sneaking an Avenger into the film to surprise us all and set him up for greater things to come.
I think the fact that this movie is so cool is a true testament to the capabilities of Marvel Studios. As a part of the larger organization of Disney there are opportunities that have never been possible before and we see them in this film. I have often described this movie as “full on Disney,” a movie where they shows us the full force of their power like they are unveiling their own personal Death Star. Do you notice anything familiar when the Yellowjacket fires his cannons? The sound is the same you will hear when an AT-AT fires it’s cannons in Star Wars. The simple sound effect has never been available for wider use but now that Lucasfilm, like Marvel, is part of Disney these things are available with little red tape. With all the properties now owned by Disney there are such interesting capabilities for the future. The MCU is the greatest example yet of the power of these capabilities but it’s merely scratching the surface of what is possible in the future.
Like any good comedy this movie has an exceptionally deep cast, and they were all on point in this movie. You have great big name players like Michael Douglas, Corey Stroll, and Evangeline Lilly but so often in this one the background characters steal the show. I think Michael Pena is hilarious in this movie and I have never been a big fan of the guy (back in the day he turned on Vic Mackey and the Strike Team, I’m still not over it). I am and always have been a big fan of Bobby Cannavale. Despite the type of role he plays in this movie I think he shines in several scenes and even manages to be badass in a smaller way. Anthony Mackie is great in his cameo, which was quite a surprise. I had no idea he was in this movie but I think that it was awesome how effortless it was to include the character of Falcon into the film.
I’ve never followed Ant-Man as a comic book fan but I’m familiar enough with the character to like that this movie has both Hank Pym and Scott Lang. Plus it is a perfect opportunity to have a guy like Michael Douglas get involved in the party at Marvel. Douglas looked like he found some life in his acting career with this role and I’m just happy to see him out there again. Evangeline Lilly will eventually become a hero in her own right as the Wasp when this particular franchise returns for a sequel. I thought she was good in this movie but there was too much unnecessary dramatics with her father.
Corey Stroll is the final gem to discuss in this movie. He has been an up and comer over the last few years and his performance here makes it easy to understand why. The guy can pull off sinister real well. I liked him both as the spiteful former apprentice Darren Cross and as the wicked and intimidating YellowJacket. Don’t really know anything about that character from the comics but it’s a shame we have most likely seen the last of Stroll as a villain in the MCU. One of the biggest criticisms of the MCU is that they kill off the bad guys too much. They have The Raft now, as seen in Civil War. It’s time to see some of these villains start getting locked up in there.
As is plainly obvious already I did not expect this movie to be good and can’t help but marvel (pun intended) at how blown away I was by it. Rudd has managed to keep it up with a great part in Captain America Civil War and I look forward to seeing more of him in the future. The Ant-Man and The Wasp will be the next installment to this franchise coming in 2018. Until then this one offers enjoyment throughout multiple viewings and it is without a doubt worth you time to see.