← Back to Reviews

(Peyton Reed)

What Could Have Been?

Ant-Man had the opportunity to be one of the most visually bizarre and interesting Marvel films to date. I think back to the pre-production stages of the film and was pretty puzzled that Edgar Wright was the man behind this project. Could he work with such a big studio, being the visually distinct director that he is? The answer was of course no. He left the project and we got The Break-Up's Peyton Reed. That's not a negative to Reed, he does his job in giving the audience an approachable Marvel superhero film. But...I keep asking myself that questions; "What could have been?"

Scott Lang is a master thief who just got out of prison. Hank Pym is a genius inventor who's been keeping an eye on Lang for some time. You see, Pym was the original Ant-Man. He has hidden the suit and the secrets to it for years in fear of it falling into the wrong hands. His predecessor, Darren Cross is trying to replicate the same formula and Pym must train a new Ant-Man is stop Cross from achieving his diabolic plans. Scott Lang is the new Ant-Man.

Much like Guardians of the Galaxy, Ant-Man had an uphill battle to be taken seriously. A superhero that is the size of an ant? How can that possibly be good? Well, Marvel has done it again, they delivered a good movie. That's all this film is though, a good movie. The film plays it so safe and by the book that I was actually taken back a bit. If anyone of the new superheroes could fall in line with the rough edged Guardians, surely it would be this one right? Nope. Ant-Man is so safe it could be a kids movie....in fact, it just might be a kids movie.

CGI overload of course, every time we shrink to the size of an ant. Interesting perspective at times, blurry at others due to the kinetic nature of the plot. The most impressive use of CGI has to be in the first 5 minutes, with a young Michael Douglas being all Benjamin Button on us. I was hoping that the effects flipping our protagonist and antagonist would result in something new, something fun or interesting in the fight or chase sequences, but Reed doesn't seem interested in that. He seems more interested in playing ball with the suits behind the camera. "We need this to be shown so we can see it develop at a later time in another film". Hence the entire Falcon sequence, which seems out of place, if neat.

Rudd is a decent superhero. He has the comedic timing to be likable, much like Chris Pratt. He was able to work his body into shape, much like Chris Pratt. Also, he walks that fine line of bad-boy, likeable schmuck. Much like....you get the idea. Douglas plays mentor here and has one scene where he gets to act a little bit with his on screen daughter, played by Evangeline Lilly. If Paul Rudd isn't funny enough for everyone, Michael Peña fills that void as the sidekick. I think Corey Stoll, who hams it up a bit as the villain, does the more interesting things. Everyone else seems to simply service the role, not taking any chances, or bringing anything new to the table. I'm glad to see Stoll get some bigger roles now.

All in all, Ant-Man is serviceable to the big budget superhero genre. It doesn't really further the Marvel agenda, nor does it re-invent anything. It will most likely be forgotten in a few years and find itself somewhere in the middle road of the list on people's "Best Marvel Films". That's the problem with this film, it's just perfectly content with being good movie and nothing more.