Like Ants Go Marching To The Theater

Antman

            Marvel has entered its third wave and the intended schedule shows a lot of “origin” stories in the works. When it comes to these starter films, Marvel has been hit or miss, in my opininon, and sometimes can leave you a bit disappointed. This weekend we got Ant-Man in the works, a tale I didn’t have much hope for in terms of quality Marvel movies. However, could there be surprises in store that will make this enjoyable, you never know. Hi I’m Robbie K and this is another Robbie Review.

When you hear the name Ant-Man you might just laugh at the lame title he holds. I mean how can someone like that be a real threat? Well don’t count him out yet, as those of the lore know that big things do indeed come in small packages. Ant-Man surprisingly has quite an array of powers, the classic one being shrinking to the size of an ant to infiltrate whatever fortress he is assigned. Yet by reaching this size he obtains heightened speed, strength, and agility that when combined with a training montage led by Evangeline Lilly leads to a top notch weapon. The pint sized hero also gains the technology to communicate with ants, and use their versatile nature in his assignments, which again might sound like a wimpy power but holds incredible potential. This leads me to my favorite part of this movie: the action.

            Director Peyton Reed has coordinated his team to make an exciting film that has plenty of fast paced, punch throwing moments that will have you wheeling in delight. Ant-man’s action starts with a comedic training sequence to warm you up, but then cascades into some big stunts filled with numerous shots of Paul Rudd disappearing and reappearing in front of his opponent. Sure this gets stale, but fortunately they mix things up as the camera dives into artificial scenes of war, which are often simple areas like carpeted floors and grass but from an ant’s perspective. And speaking of ants, the team brought a great dynamic with the ants, establish a foot soldier motif with them and having them coordinate strikes. I felt like I was back in Star Wars again as flying ants led ground troops into the heart of danger, often with accompanying laser sounds to add more galactic atmosphere to it. All of the graphics involved with this are impressive, solid movement, good definition, and some bright special effects as well. Overall the action is decent.

The big factor that most are going to enjoy I feel is the comedy. Ant-Man does a great job of relieving the stress with multiple comedic moments that range from situational slapstick to well timed quips. Paul Rudd leads the comedy with his acting, managing to bring his typical self into the part and leave you chuckling. The writing is clever and delivered with just the right intensity to sell the line and maximize the laughs. Michael Douglas also brings a set of laughs to the mix and his blunt mannerisms are welcomed as he zings the characters with witty dialogue. Michael Pena helps with the simpler comedy, using his talents to please the audience members who love the more ridiculous and exaggerated moments. His voice was probably the funniest aspect of his moments and the director limiting the number of jokes with him was also a smart move. Outside of the actors, Ant-Man has some other fun trinkets, including turning a toy train set into a “death” arena, anthropomorphic qualities in ants, and a few comic surprises that cap everything. This film is certainly one of Marvel’s most humorous projects, and did a nice job balancing the laughs with the action.

But alas there were a few things that fell off the scale and could have used some tweaking. At the beginning the plot is very rushed, with little hindrance and in depth character development. His initiation is practically dull, his training almost devoid of any real struggle, and even the magnitude of the crime he committed was blown over. Another weakness was Hank and Hope’s relationship, the tension and drama are there, but the details remain hidden and suddenly are dropped in at once. Then the second half of the movie happens and that is when the entertaining and intriguing moments happen. There is also a lot of predictability in this tale as well, lacking any real twist or surprise, but that is only a minor thing. This is when connections to the other movies happen and the plot development and tension occur. Outside of the plot, the action does get a little repetitive with the whole shrinking and expanding moment, and I could have been happier with more ant moments.

I got to say that Ant-Man is a well done intro film that has a little something for everyone. The action is fitting, the comedy clever and balanced, and the movie overall fun and entertaining. The story needs some tweaking, and it definitely has some other areas that weren’t the jaw dropping experience we’ve had in the past. Yet I feel it is a good and fun blockbuster for the summer. I encourage many to go have fun with this movie, but avoid the 3-D aspect because I don’t see it adding much to the film for the extra cost.

My scores are:

Action/Sci-Fi: 8.0

Movie Overall: 8.0

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