This was a fun comic-book movie but too far on the cute side to deliver the same impact as other films in the Marvel universe.
A cat burglar stumbles across and suit with the ability to shrink down to the size on an ant with highly increased strength, and soon learns his coming across the suit was no accident, and that he will have to pull off one more heist that could save the world from an evil power.
Marvel’s newest summer blockbuster and installment of the Cinematic Universe they have been creating since 2008 comes in the miniature form of “Ant-Man”. First I can say I did enjoy this film overall, it was not boring and was certainly, cute. This is where I can say that my enjoyed in this film could have been much much more if perhaps the original director Edgar Wright would have been aboard still. From what I have read he was to give this film a more serious tone, or at leas a less lighthearted one, something that could have helped this film appeal to a more widespread audience.
Like “Guardians of the Galaxy” the target audience was clearly a much younger one. I can understand this new tier of comic-book heroes being introduced to live action films as being a risk, and highly experimental. There are large amounts of money involved in making these films and even more money needed to market them world-wide. Thus targeting to kids for a character like Ant-Man is a safe bet and to Marvel’s credit they did try some efforts to appeal to the older crowd by adding some good humor, with Paul Rudd and Michael Peña leading the way in that category.
Up until recently the tone of the world Marvel has created with their films has held relatively constant and it has worked with some amazing films that have brought comic-book films to the lofty levels they are regarded with today. But with films like this, an albeit enjoyable film but much lighter in tone than the rest, it doesn’t hold the same intensity to fee like it is in the same world as the others.
With only simple tie-in’s to other films to keep it in reference with the main story of the Cinematic Universe this film felt like a kids movie to the point where the action didn’t lure my attention like the others. Sure it was fast paced action with good use of special-effects but nothing to the extent of the ferocity the action in other films has boasted.
It was fun to sit back and watch but this film came across as much more of a comedy and for that aspect it failed to keep you hanging on your seat like a true comic-book adventure can. Regardless of the younger audience pulling some of the suspense from the action-sequences, there was still enough laughable dialogue to make the film entertaining.
Paul Rudd was good as Ant-Man and held his own for a leading man. He was charismatic and charming a despite some of the childish dialogue he was still able to deliver it for the most part in a comical manor. The personality he conveyed through the character of Scott Lang was very likable and helped keep some of the interest that the generic story-line at time failed to build.
Michael Douglas, Michael Peña and Evangeline Lilly all came in with solid performances to make the most of what was written for their characters. Peña served a solid comic relief while Douglas and Lilly pulled off the father/daughter dynamic in a believable fashion. Stoll was decent but as for his character, and what continues to be a glaring weakness in Marvel’s run of hits has been a lack of legitimately intimidating villains. To Stoll’s credit his performance was not a hindrance but his character was very thinly written, with no energy and intensity to even give his presence the slightest bit of impact to the film.
In the end “Ant-Man” was not a failure by any means, it was a feel-good action-comedy with a comic-book overcoat and did not disappoint. At least the filmmakers accounted for the young target demographic taking some seriousness from the tone by creating some likable characters and some comical dialogue to make it enjoyable to an older audience.
I wish the action would have been more capturing and mind-blowing but it was still visually appealing. This one just felt a little too much like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” a little too often but it wasn’t a deal breaker. This was not a edge of your seat adventure but it was an entertaining telling of a comic hero we have not seen on film before.
However even if “Ant-Man” turned out to be a passable comic-book action film it continues to look as if Disney has begun to slowly leave their imprint on more and more of Marvel Studios films. I hope I am wrong and this was a just a single example of a film being hindered by studio minds interfering with the creative creative process, but there are more and more things being said out there to suggest otherwise. This film can pass the test but if this becomes the trend of future films being more aimed for kids and not a wide ranging audience, then DC Comics future may be looking much brighter in their darker world.