Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Ten Statements About....ANT-MAN (2015)

Ant-Man gives this shower curtain thumbs up....
“The world sure seems different from down here, doesn't it, Scott?"

1) It’s refreshing for once to have a Marvel movie where the stakes are not on a city-destroying level.  Because this is a more personal story, there’s not any of the ‘collateral damage fatigue’ that some of these later entries have suffered from.  And it makes us easier to accept the explodey parts in Act Three.  Although...

2) ...I wonder if the fact that this is many ways a kinda, sorta remake of Iron Man struck anyone at any period of time.  There are moments in the film--especially in the third act, it comes down to our hero and a bald guy in a more aggressive version of his suit throwing down in a major metropolitan area--where the connections are inescapable.

3) There is a moment where a character asks ‘when did this happen?’, and I had to agree.  That development comes way out of nowhere given how the relationship between the two characters being referenced had been prickly-to-friendly up until that point.

4) It’s surprising how the film still has Edgar Wright’s fingerprints are on it, even after that acrimonious split.  There are moments (especially whenever Michael Pena goes into flashback mode) that are pure Wright, giving this film a different sheen than other Marvel films.
That's right...Mole Man is already taken!

5) Maybe it’s me, but Michael Douglas’ Hank Pym comes off as a dick, even after he gets a moment where he explains his angst by borrowing some of comic book era Captain America’s.  It’s not so much a character arc as a character line.

6) Similarly--and this may be because I’m comparing him to Obediah Stane--I find Cory Stoll’s Darren Cross sort of one-dimensional and broad.  At no point do we doubt that he’s Pure-D-Evil, here only to hiss and make us appreciate how honorable Scott and his crew are.

7) Okay, those television spots spoiled the big surprise, but I did enjoy the throwdown between Scott and The Falcon.  It’s a very Marvel moment, having two heroes fight over a misunderstanding.

8) As someone who hates CGI, I have to admit that the use of it here gives the action scene a sense of three-dimensionality I enjoyed.  The way the camera swoops and slides as Scott and Cross are battling both in miniature and enlarged (am I the only one who thinks the Yellowjacket outfit looked silly in its enlarged state?), changing perspective a number of times in novel ways while never losing sight of what’s going on
"Follow me, because I'm like...evil and stuff."

9) Even though the light hearted nature of this film required a comedic actor like Paul Rudd at its center, I appreciate how he keeps things more or less low key.  There’s no mugging, no out-of-place quipping, no winking at the camera.  In fact, Rudd manages to keep Scott seeming very ‘regular joe’ while still giving us a hint of charisma.  It’s a rather commendable performance.

10) So you set your film in one of the most photogenic cities in the country....and yet you manage to make it so generic that you don’t even notice the setting until it’s mentioned in the third act?

Overall...while it has its flaws, this is a non-offensive time waster with some nice moments.

1 comment:

  1. Yes to all of this.

    Cross was meh.

    The whole film felt very Iron Man-ish to me (which I loved because I still love the crap out of Iron Man).

    I think Hank Pym has always been a dick because he's always the last person people think has brains for the most part in the MU. It's always Reed, Tony, even Doom before the guy who really created Ultron.

    Michael Pena was GREAT.

    And I leaned over to my friend early on and asked what city are they in, because I truly couldn't tell.

    As for the plugged in romance, I thought once Hope and Scott had the heart to heart in the car (and he finally controlled the ants), she dropped her defenses. Plus she checked him out in the training sequence and by the time the kiss happened, Scott had just saved her father's work from falling into the wrong hands. Oh, and it's Paul Rudd. Ladies love Paul Rudd.